Flour shortages and panic writing

I can’t buy flour anywhere. Everyone seems to be using lockdown as a chance to channel their inner Mary Berry.

And yet that’s not the strangest thing I’ve noticed in recent weeks. What really stands out is the influx of terrible content. Unlike flour, it’s everywhere.

While people’s pantries are filling up, email inboxes and timelines are being bombarded with rambling, confused communications from brands that don’t know what to say.

I’ve lost count of the emails that are 600-word sagas that don’t tell me anything.

People are spending more time than ever online in search of information and brands are panic writing.

Branded content is more important than ever

Panic writing is occurring because brands are having to deviate from scripted plan A. And the ones that are struggling to adapt are putting thoughtless content out there in the belief that speed is everything. Strategy, delivery and relevance have gone out the window when we’re all supposed to be staying indoors.

It’s always been the case, but now is the time for branded content to be precise, compelling and, well, on brand.

And that’s why you can’t underestimate the value of good copywriting. It’s a copywriter’s job to read between the lines of a conversation or brief. To keep a level head and understand what really needs to be said long before we put a pen anywhere near paper.

The brands that are communicating well at the moment are the ones that have taken a breath and kept on producing meaningful, informative and helpful content that tells audiences the imperatives while sticking to the bigger brand play. That’s what brands have always needed, but it seems some need it now more than ever.

The same goes for creatives of all shapes. Designers, coders, animators, illustrators all know how to bring relevant stories to life and get attention. That’s what brands need right now – and in the future.

What will the future look like?

Lots of things are up in the air at the moment, but you can bet all your bags of flour that this experience is only going to speed up the march towards a digital-first world.

Even the smallest tech-phobic businesses are going to need to get online and reach out digitally to customers.

New channels and platforms will emerge and change the way businesses operate.

More and more services, products and experiences will become digital.

And the brands that flourish will be the ones that had something to say.

Leave the flour to the bakers and, for the sake of us all, leave the content to copywriters. We’re more than happy to do it. Especially in return for a slice of cake or bread.