At the beginning of the worldwide Covid-19 lockdowns, Uber decided to join many companies urging people to stay home.
The Uber Stop Moving urged riders to help save lives and end this virus by staying home. The message of this campaign was pretty simple and single-minded: Stop moving,” said Uber’s VP of global marketing
A company that moves people, asking you not to move is pretty cool and unusual.
Along with the campaign, Uber committed to providing 10 million free rides and food deliveries to healthcare workers, senior citizens, and all those in need in these challenging times.
The PR lessons
1. Go beyond tokenism
“To do good and communicate, forget not.” Uber did not just run a clever global campaign, they backed it up with action (10 million free rides) that went beyond mere tokens.
Too many companies are more focused at what media coverage they will get and less attention on what they are giving back.
The banks and oil companies in Nigeria used to be guilty of this. They give an inch and they publicize it for miles.
2. Make emotional connections
This campaign had a strong emotional appeal and connected with the public sentiments.
3. Be creative
PR professionals must always remember that creative PR not only earns great media coverage, it also commands clients’ respect.
Uber, pressure and Nigeria
Uber in Nigeria and indeed in many other parts of the world is in a paradoxical crossroad.
Customers are saying Uber fares are now too high. The drivers say they are paid too low. The balancing act of appeasing price-sensitive riders and still appeal to high pressured drivers will remain a head-scratcher for Uber for quite a while.
The role of PR as always is to keep the flow of communication going and ensure growing mutual understanding between the brand and its publics.