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As Russia continues its war on Ukraine, businesses and people worldwide have been looking for ways to help those affected. There’s been a widespread emergency appeal since the invasion launched. Now, organizations are seeking to provide information and resources for incoming refugees, and Google has stepped up to help businesses deliver up-to-date information to those who need it most.

Google has created new ways for brands to efficiently and effectively communicate with those looking for assistance through Google Business Profiles, such as emergency help Google attributes. Companies offering emergency assistance, an emergency fund, and other types of emergency disaster relief can now create updates and add attributes to their profiles to help notify those displaced from Ukraine of help or services available to them.

In this blog, we’ll examine the new Google Business Profile capabilities and how to use them. Additionally, we’ll discuss various charities and support systems for those looking to support the Ukrainian people.

Google Business Profile Attributes for Hotels

Currently, hotels can add Google Business Profile attributes to their business listings that provide information about any offer of free or discounted lodging for refugees from Ukraine.

Several European countries are now offering an emergency residency program. Two of the new emergency help Google attributes listed are “Free accommodation for people displaced from Ukraine” and “Significantly discounted accommodation for people displaced from Ukraine” under “Accommodations for Ukraine” for hotels. In this section, you can simply choose if your location offers either of these options.

Emergency Help Google Attributes Example Hotel
Google Business Profile screenshot

This is one of the numerous ways businesses can support Ukrainian refugees.

You can edit and add attributes by taking the following steps:

  1.     Log into your Business Profile
  2.     Go to Edit Profile
  3.     Select Business Information and then More
  4.     Choose the category to edit
  5.     Then click Yes or No next to each attribute
  6.     Finally, click Save to update attributes

Post Info to Help Refugees on your Business Profile

One excellent way to communicate the available resources, information, and services your business offers to those displaced from Ukraine is through posts on your Google Business Profile. If you haven’t learned how to utilize posts on your Google Business Profile, here are the basic steps:

  1.     Log into your Business Profile
  2.     Click “Promote” and choose the post type
  3.     Write out your post
  4.     Then preview or publish your post

Some of the important aspects to cover in your post for refugees of Ukraine are any free products or services you offer, including food, medication, short-term or long-term accommodations, legal assistance, or counseling. Another topic to post about is whether your business operates as a collection or distribution center for essential items or humanitarian aid.

A crucial aspect of promoting is to post about any upcoming volunteer opportunities so that people know where to go and how to help. Additionally, you can create a post about transportation services. For local transportation, you can make a post about if you have a shuttle to amenities in your area or if you offer pickup to local lodging.

Communicate job opportunities for refugees

Businesses can also make posts about any job openings. Job listings are another way to help create long-term stability for those displaced, so make sure to promote any job openings and details of the job for those relocating.

For many of these post ideas, you can also make them attributes on your Google Business Profile, which we will discuss later. To make it easier for any possible language barrier, you can post each update in your native language as well as Ukrainian and any other applicable language. In addition, businesses can use Google Translate across devices to make communication simpler.

For quick translation, you can also use the Google Translate app on a mobile device to translate conversations in real-time.

Google’s Advice for Businesses near Ukraine

Update your hours and contact info

Ensuring your hours and contact information are up-to-date is incredibly important during uncertain times. If your business is operational during this time to help refugees from Ukraine and you need to adjust your information, you can quickly update your Google Business Profile in one of three ways.

You can either Google Search “my business,” use Google Search or Maps then search your business name and city, or go to Google Maps and then click your business photo or initial and go to your Business Profile. Then after you navigate to your Google Business Profile:

  1.     Click “Edit Info”
  2.     Then select Business Information
  3.     Finally, update the information and save

Turn on chat for your Business Profile

Since people may have specific questions about your business, you might not have readily available on your website or Google Business Profile, you can alleviate this issue by turning on the chat option. After turning this capability on, consumers can chat with you through Google Maps to get the information they need on products or services, your current hours, or anything that might be helpful.

Chats are an efficient way to communicate with consumers in real-time. People often use mobile search while on the go, and this gives them a quick and accessible way to reach you from any device. You can turn the Chat option on or off in Google Maps on mobile devices by going to the bell-shaped icon, clicking Chat, and then Business. Next, tap the more section, an icon of three dots if applicable, the settings icon, and turn chat on or off.

Some important features in Chat include:

  • An automated welcome message
  • Sharing photos with customers to give them a better understanding of products or services you may offer
  • Exporting and downloading messages you would like to save for the future

In addition, if you have more than one person managing your online communication, anyone who has access to your Google Business Profile can respond to messages in Chat. You can check your notifications for messages within your Google Business Profile.

While the question and answer section might not be the most efficient way to answer questions at the moment for those needing a quick reply, you can add any frequently asked questions that you commonly receive through chats to this section later.

Use attributes to highlight available emergency help

As we mentioned earlier, attributes are a vital way to communicate information. If you have more than one location and use Google Business Profile APIs, you can do a mass update of attributes. You can go here to learn more about how to update multiple locations properly.

There are valuable attributes to update on your Google Business Profile that will reflect in Google Maps and Search to help those affected get the key resources and support they need. Some of the essential emergency help Google attributes include:

  • Offers free products or services
  • Offers accommodation for refugees
  • Employs refugees
  • Offers free legal help
  • Offers transportation services
  • Accepts donations
  • Needs volunteers

It’s important to note that attributes can change and evolve. So, make sure to pay attention as new emergency help Google attributes may become available.

Update your website

Your website should also reflect any support services you have available. For example, Sircle Collection has a dedicated landing page to support Ukraine refugees. This landing page includes a large banner image, helpful FAQs, a form for refugees to fill out, and participating hotels.

Sircle Collection Ukraine Help Landing Page

Other Ways You Can Help Support Ukrainians

As the war continues, numerous organizations and agencies are putting together resources and support to help the people of Ukraine. Consider donating to one of the following organizations or spreading the word about the resources out there available to help the Ukrainian people. You can find some of the organizations here or support any of the following:

  • Razom’s Emergency Response project helps provide medical supplies and works to create collaboration to “help Ukraine stay on the path of fostering democracy and prosperity.” You can donate here.
  • World Central Kitchen works to provide meals for those still in Ukraine and those attempting to find safety elsewhere. Offer support here.
  • Support The National Bank of Ukraine, where funds go directly to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
  • GlobalGiving’s Ukraine Relief Fund, where donations will help provide shelter, food, water, health and psychological support, access to education and economic assistance, and more.
  • Doctors Without Borders currently have emergency teams in Ukraine. They are also creating medical kits for those in need and are preparing more ways to help. Donations are accepted here.

Additionally, Olesia Korobka has created two Google Sheets that have been shared widely throughout the marketing community through social media with modes to help in the area: