It is essential to take into consideration that humans are extremely adaptable and strong. This means that there is no need for a brand to sugarcoat anything. This is especially true regarding the negative effects that overworking and the lack of mental health awareness has in this space.

Good Things Guy CEO, Brent Lindeque said it beautifully: "We are all in this together — separated in our houses — but all together, and that’s how we get through this … together!"

This is exactly the type of thing PR pros should take into mind when communicating their client's message to consumers.

media update's Talisa Carlson takes a look at three things that PR pros should focus on to make this the best version of 2020 (2.0) when it comes to mental health.

Ready to dive in? Let’s do it:

1. PR pros need to talk about mental health

There is still a lot of stigmas surrounding open conversations about mental health. Certain generations view mental health issues as being a weakness and indirectly encourage a burn-out culture.

On the other hand, there are those who feel that there is not enough communication about mental health.

Regardless of which side is correct, it is essential to strike a balance with this type of conversation. A brand's message should acknowledge mental health where appropriate, but not overdo it in the process.

So, PR pros, be sure to make this year the best version of 2020 by taking into account how a brand's message can potentially and effectively communicate the importance of mental health.

"Never suffer alone. This is something I stress all the time to my readers and followers. Talk to people!" says Lindeque.

2. PR pros need to focus on positivity

It is so easy to fall into the deep, dark pit that is negativity and talk about all the bad situations that people find themselves in. We are not saying that you should completely steer clear of any message that could be negative but rather take another approach.

For example, stick to the facts and then focus on the positive side of things. This can be things like how a consumer can contribute to a brand like Pick ‘n Pay to help people that are being affected by the pandemic.

Looking at the positive side of things might encourage more support from consumers. Maybe even more so from your own employees!

"Some researchers posit that psychologically speaking, negative events weigh close to three times more than positive events," according to HuffPost. With this in mind, if a brand's message contains any negativity, not only will the consumer feel bad but that feeling will stick. This will then make the consumer associate negativity with the brand itself.

So, how can you ensure that positivity sticks with a consumer through press releases or events? Renee Jain, contributor for HuffPost, gives the following tips:
  • Focus on the good stuff, like how brands are making a positive impact.
  • Express gratitude for your clients and consumers.
  • Remind your audience to take a break from negative news.

3. PR pros should never sugarcoat

It is no secret that today's consumers are more informed than ever before. This means that if a PR pro sends out a press release trying to sugarcoat a crisis, you can be assured that the audience will see right through it.

With the pandemic and all the changes that it has brought, it is vital for PR professionals' communication to be honest, transparent and informative.

Being an honest PR pro will benefit you and the agency you work for in the long run. It allows a PR professional to build authentic relationships with clients, the public and the media. It will also allow you to safeguard your client's brand and agency against any potential backlash.

Let's also not forget that consumers know how to do thorough research; they will no longer accept unauthentic apologies or stand for fake news, misinformation, or disinformation. And so there is a culture of mistrust when it comes to messages shared by brands — regardless of it is from the marketer or the PR professional.

As such, there is a constant state of stress and anxiety because customers need to be on their guard constantly against incorrect information. However, by being honest, transparent and informative, you as the PR pro are allowing the public to rely and trust on what it is you have to say. This takes off all that anxiety on their part.

By nurturing a safe environment that supplies true and reliable communication, a PR pro is only encouraging positive mental health further; they help consumers to let down their guard in trust — benefitting every party along the way.

What are some other tips you have for PR pros who want to focus on communicating better mental health messages to the public? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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Need a little motivation to kick start the year? Then check out these Three ways that PR pros can motivate themselves.
*Image courtesy of Pexels