Prepare to win so you can win: Pivoting during COVID-19

Posted by Damian Leonard Apr 28, 2020 1:42:40 PM

Topics: Roland Dransfield PR, Manchester PR Agency, Manchester, covid19


Even when you have a lot of time to prepare, coming up with new strategies to win business, engage with your audience and create shareable content can be a huge challenge.

Covid-19 came as a shock to everyone, and outside of the terrible effects it’s having on peoples’ lives – which are of the utmost importance – it also massively disrupted businesses’ marketing and BD strategies. This has left companies from across the globe wondering how they’re going to sell, how they’re going to reach their target markets and how they’re going to continue to trade.

So, with current strategies turned on their heads, business leaders have had to dig deep and find ways to pivot their current offering in line with the current climate. Some have failed, and some have hugely succeeded.

To get some inspiration for your own company, take a look at some of the most noteworthy pivot strategies of the past month.


Morrisons ft. Deliveroo

We’ve all had those nights where cooking just isn’t an option – and Deliveroo always comes to the rescue. Renowned for its speedy takeaway delivery, it’s become a staple part of the British food and drink scene.

When the Covid-19 pandemic began to worsen, a lot of people were no longer able to leave their homes due to their high risk nature, or having contracted the virus themselves.

Although it now seems like an obvious pairing, Morrisons had the gumption and reactivity to team up with our favourite fast-food delivery service to distribute groceries to those in need.

Now, the service is available from more than 130 Morrisons stores across the UK, and customers are able to order from 70 essential household items for on-demand delivery in as little as under 30 minutes.

Not only has this quick thinking improved Morrisons’ bottom line and gained them a lot of favour, it’s also helped to save a lot of lives, and it’s unlikely people will forget that any time soon.


United We Stream

As Night Tsar of Manchester, Sacha Lord realises the city’s dependency on culture, music, nightlife and entertainment. Manchester is a city that thinks a table is for dancing on, after all.

Knowing that we could no longer leave the house to get our culture-fix, and that his own projects – Parklife and Warehouse Project - couldn’t go ahead, Sacha worked with countless partners to officially launch United We Stream – an online music-first movement that streams live performances into the homes of anyone who tunes in.

These performances are an incredible mix of solo musicians, bands, DJs and even comedians, poets and other entertainers.

As part of this initiative, a donation page has been set up to help some of Greater Manchester’s best-loved venues through this crisis. It’s not obligatory, simply an option – but over 10,000 people have donated already. Manchester’s heart shines through as always.

This has brought the music back to the people of Manchester and given everyone something unique and significant to look forward to every weekend. The perfect pivot.

To tune in yourself, just visit the website here.


Get in touch


We Built This City: Creative Exchange

Although the creative industry in Manchester has always had a healthy competitive streak, it’s time like this that make you take stock and realise what’s really important – looking out for our neighbours.

For this reason, we launched the We Built This City: Creative Exchange – an initiative that will help all agencies from across Manchester to develop and hone their new business strategies and content creation during the Covid pandemic.

The Creative Exchange will allow businesses across the city within the tech, media, digital and creative sphere to plug the gaps left behind by staff members who have had to be placed on furlough – creating somewhat of ceasefire amongst agencies in Manchester at a time when we all need to come together in solidarity and support.

Our CEO, Lisa Morton, said: “Roland Dransfield has been viewing the acronym ‘PR’ differently for some time now, choosing to interpret it as ‘purposeful relationships’. It feels more relevant now than ever – never before have we had to come together so suddenly as a sector to support each other in such difficult times.”

If you’d like to sign up for it simply email, and to find out more, click here.



Hotel chains have been terribly affected by the Covid-19 crisis. With people unable to travel or leave their home outside of essential visits, the industry has plateaued.

Not content with sitting back and waiting for the pandemic to subside however, unique hotel operator Airbnb has announced a new global initiative to help house 100,000 healthcare professionals, relief workers, and first responders around the world during the Covid-19.

And to show that they’re committed, Airbnb are working with hosts to waive all fees for stays arranged through this initiative, and have also launched a donation tool to help support more stays for relief workers while they do their critical work – with all proceeds going to non-profits helping with Covid-19 relief efforts.

It’s becoming indisputable that businesses will be remembered for how they dealt with this pandemic, and whether they led with strong values and authenticity. We believe Airbnb has done just that, and we applaud them.


Manchester Central

What do you do you’re one of the largest events and conference venues in the UK, and you’re not allowed to host any events?

This was the question that Manchester Central found themselves asking. With Covid-19 derailing their next six+ months of business, how would they keep their head above the parapet and help to tackle the crisis?

Well, in just three short weeks, Manchester Central has managed to undergo a full internal makeover to become the NHS Nightingale Hospital North West – a 750 capacity hospital that will help manage the overflow of patients at Manchester’s local hospitals. Medical professionals from across the city have signed up to work in it, and its neighbour Windmill Green – a commercial development – has opened its doors to help streamline the accreditation process.

This shows the true Mancunian spirit. Manchester Central has taken its business hat off in favour of authentic, genuine altruism, undoubtedly creating waves that will leave Manchester in a better place.


Get in touch

If you would like to discuss your own PR and marketing activity and find a way to pivot your brand effectively over the next few months, get in touch with us at Roland Dransfield and we’ll be able to help you out.

And if you’re looking for a bit of escapism, you might enjoy our new podcast, We Built This City.  In it, we catch up with notable Mancunians – born, bred or adopted - who helped shape the city we live in today, and find out how they have helped to put the heart into Modern Manchester.  Hopefully it helps inspire you over the coming weeks. Listen live here and please do rate and review. Thank you.


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