By Andrea Albuquerque
The state that society is in right now with the COVID-19 pandemic has halted numerous aspects of our everyday lives. Some business are unable to function as usual and others were not prepared for the sudden overload of work. Times like these force businesses to get more creative and adapt to obstacles.
I had the pleasure of working in PR teams for the Montclair Art Museum, Garden State Wine Growers Association and Montclair State’s Center for Cooperative Media. Because of the unprecedented circumstance caused by the Coronavirus, we all pivoted our strategy and moved forward. My Garden State Wine Growers Association team was able to rewrite our plan to further encourage people to shop at local wineries.
The Garden State Wine Growers Association initially asked us to help spread the message of New Jersey’s award-winning wine and gorgeous wineries through social media. Thankfully, wineries are able to stay open. However, they can no longer function the same with people visiting for events or services. This was definitely a setback because spring season is when wineries start getting busy again with wine tastings, weddings, and other events. I was able to see how these different wineries were able to adapt to the situation and make it easy for their customers to still support local wineries. Local wineries added new services like curbside pickup, online wine tastings, online and over the phone sales, free deliveries, and special discounts. Some businesses were already prepared to go fully online and others had to quickly adapt. The team for the Garden State Wine Growers Association spoke with the client to assess their needs. Our contact Tom Cosentino was very helpful by giving us examples of how we can create posts for social media and sending us weekly emails about wineries’ activities. I was able to contribute to my team by creating a social media schedule so that everyone is able to post on a designated day. I made new posts using Canva to create images promoting winery events that were mentioned in the weekly Wine Growers Association emails. I also looked up #NJWine to see new posts from different wineries. The original goal for Garden State Wine Growers Association was to create original content by taking photos at wineries and going to events. Our focus and strategy shifted to getting people to still support local wineries by ordering online or taking the drive out there to pick up cases.
Through my time working for these different organizations and businesses, I’ve learned that sometimes strategies have to shift in order to overcome obstacles. Just because an obstacle or change in business presents itself, doesn’t mean you give up. Some of our teams were still able to help the client as long as the client was able to communicate their needs. The most important keys to completing a project for a client is communication and a clear plan. Sometimes obstacles become opportunities to be more creative in producing the end result.