Covid-19 pandemic: Round up of useful resources for marketing and PR freelancers

Here’s a list of useful resources and discounted online software tools for marketing and PR freelancers and consultants, to help you build your business during these unsettling times. 

Marketing, PR and comms associations

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is helping its members with free legal advice and support via its Benevolent Fund

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has gathered a list of free and cost-reduced resources for PR professionals working through the COVID-19 crisis. It also offers two free webinars that share best practice advice on applying crisis communications principles to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) shares what it are doing to help the PR community via this Twitter thread.

CharityComms has a range of coronavirus resources for comms professionals working in the charity sector. 

The Arts Marketing Association (AMA) has pulled together resources to help those working in the arts, culture and heritage sector. It invites anyone working in the sector to join its free webinars and Coronavirus Support Facebook Group.

The Content Marketing Association (CMA) is offering free membership to freelancers. It claims to offer several benefits, such as extensive opportunities to promote and share your work and industry knowledge across the CMA database.

Business membership organisations and associations

The following membership bodies for small business owners are freelancers are offering support: 

  • Enterprise Nation >>> 
  • IPSE (Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed >>> 
  • FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) >>>

Don’t forget to check out any independent membership organisations in your local area. For example, Bristol Media is offering its members in the South West free 1-2-1 mentoring sessions with agency owners and coaches, legal support, financial tools & advice and more.

What else is happening in your local area? For example, in Bristol, news site Bristol Live has been running #ThereWithYou Hours on Twitter as a way for local businesses to get some extra publicity during these difficult times. 

In addition, get involved with Twitter Chats – here’s three to get started with:

Working on your business

Got some extra time and want to work on your business? 

This article from Smart Insights offers 15 practical ideas to help you create an action plan for business survival in a global recession. Want the full list of 45 ideas? Download this resource (note that you need to become a member to access this resource but you can do so on the ‘free membership’ plan).

GYDA Initiative, which offers business growth expertise for digital agencies, has a new blog and resource centre to help agencies sustain their business in the current climate. 

Comms Creative is currently offering its #31DaysOfCreativity challenge for free to help you get creative in a small way every day. I took the challenge in January and it was a fun way to flex my creativity muscle and try various online apps and tools you’ll find some of my completed challenges over on Twitter.

SEO software providers have free SEO training and resources – check out Yoast here and Moz here

Collaboration and online tools

Microsoft Teams is offering six-month free trials.

Canva has #StopTheSpread image templates which you can customise in your brand or clients brand colours and design.

Until 30 September 2020, GSuite customers can use premium Hangouts Meet video conference features, such as larger meetings (up to 250 participants), live streaming, and recording. 

Video recording and sharing service Loom has changed its offering to remove the recording limit on their free plan, halve the price of Loom Pro and extend trials from 14 to 30 days. 

Scheduling software Calendly, which helps you schedule meetings without the back and forth emails, is supporting free integrations with video meeting tools, Zoom and GoToMeeting, until June.

Seth Godin and Akimbo have created a virtual coworking space for people who would rather not work alone – it’s currently free.

Social media management platform Hootsuite is offering its professional plan for free until 1 July 2020 (usually $19 per month).

Looking for a safer alternative to Zoom? While Whereby is end to end encrypted and like Zoom has a free version. Whereby’s paid plan is also currently cheaper than Zoom at $9.99 a month. 

Staying healthy and just for fun

Meditation, sleep and relaxation apps Calm has free resources to help us take care of our mental and emotional wellness during this time. Headspace is offering something similar. Plus, here’s a useful guide about guarding mental health during the pandemic. 

Davina McCall’s online fitness membership platform Own Your Goals is currently giving a free 30 day membership for a range of fitness classes – you don’t have to enter any payment details.

Find a new podcast series via this top 50 list or have a rummage in the Desert Island Discs archive.

Enjoy a virtual wine tasting with Master of Wine Rose Murray Brown or online gin tasting with microbarbox and Madam Geneva & Gent.

Watch a National Theatre Live production – such as One Man, Two Guvnors or Jane Eyre – from the comfort of your own home every Thursday at 7pm or on demand for seven days via YouTube. 

Learn with Skillshare and start a new creative project, like photography or calligraphy – new members can get the premium plan for free for two months.

Image: Blossom in Kingswood, Bristol, snapped by Ali.