Reaching out to migrants in the time of coronavirus

MCX Founder and CEO Sheba Nandkeolyar looks at the real-life implications of coronavirus on the migrant population of Australia.

In these difficult times, let us pause to consider those who are vulnerable.

COVID-19 coronavirus has wreaked havoc in Australia and around the world – on our economy, on our physical health, on our mental health, and on all that we hold dear. It is a humanitarian crisis, undoubtedly, and the situation is changing every hour of every day.

In recent weeks, our attention was drawn to unfortunate physical altercations in supermarkets. We saw the worst of humanity.

Fortunately, there was swift public condemnation. Amidst the backlash, there was an appeal for protection of our most vulnerable groups – handicapped and elderly included – so that rushing for groceries does not become a ‘survival of the fittest’.

Now, we are beginning to see the best of humanity, with people making care package deliveries to vulnerable groups as well as dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable groups among other initiatives. Migrants have been contributing very actively in delivering care packages as well as food to those in need. Migrants come to Australia with a lot of aspirations – wanting to settle down, do well as well as contribute and give back to the community that they belong to. We have seen migrants on national TV regularly over the past few weeks.

Basic needs aside, in these difficult times I hope we can also pause and reflect on the mental health of groups who are particularly vulnerable – the unemployed, the homeless and of course as a multicultural marketer I also consider the needs and situation of migrants in Australia.

When migrants come into Australia, they are desperately looking to belong and a sense of security – trying to make friends.

This situation hits hard – with serious fiscal consequences (unemployment, underemployment, reduced earnings etc.) as well as personal consequences – mental health, stress, depression and anxiety, domestic violence and so on.

It is so important for us to reach out to these migrant and multicultural audiences.

Organisations that actively market to these audiences should reach out to them now – more than ever before. It is good for the brand as they are connecting at a time of heightened emotion. This will bring the brand alive in terms of providing it with a human touch. In turn, this will help build relationships and loyalty that the brand can reap over the years.

Migrants are part of the fabric of Australia, and are an important part of the Australian economy so let’s not forget them.

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