Covid-19: Communication in time of Crisis

Covid-19: Communication in time of Crisis

With the Covid-19 pandemic quickly changing how companies operate across the globe, many businesses have taken to email, social media and point of business posters and flyers to communicate clearly with customers and partners about what they are doing to respond.

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During times of crisis, maintaining a calm, collected brand voice and keeping open channels of communication with clients, team members and stakeholders is critical to business survival. 

Here are some steps you need to take to help your business go through Covid-19.

CREATE A DEDICATED WEBPAGE FOR COVID-19 RELATED UPDATES

In a rapidly changing situation, a centralized communication strategy is essential. Having a location where all the updates and latest information can be found, helps to avoid confusion and panic.

Many companies and organizations are using landing pages dedicated to providing information about Covid-19 and their efforts to deal with the crisis. 

What you should include on this page:

  • Details about your emergency Covid-19 plans. If you deal with clients in-person, you must include information about whether your locations are open or not and how you will or will not serve clients if you close. You should also add information about change to opening hours and amount of people allowed in your business at a time.
  • Precautionary measures that you have taken. If your company is encouraging employees to work from home, implement additional cleaning procedures or taking any other safety measures to minimize the risk of exposure, you should inform in your clients and partners.
  • Links to external official resources like the  Covid-19 World Health Organization website, the Irish Government Coronavirus website, and the HSE information page on COVID-19
  • Contact information for your primary spokesperson and leadership team member overseeing the coronavirus crisis information.

Email and social media offer effective ways to communicate these messages. You should include this essential information to them:

  • A statement about how your organization is prioritizing employee and client safety and will continue to closely monitor the situation
  • Details about precautionary measures that your company has taken.
  • A link to the webpage where your audience can find the latest information about your response

COMMUNICATE WITH EMPLOYEES EARLY AND OFTEN ABOUT COVID-19

Miscommunication within your business can cause panic and lead to ineffective or unsafe actions.

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Internal communications should include the following:

  • A message that you are aware of the situation and making emergency plans to limit the disruption to business
  • Information about preventative measures that are being taken, such as cancelling events, work from home policies, change to cleaning procedures and schedules, and change in the business working hours.
  • Fact-based and official resources that employees can use to learn more about Covid-19.
  • A point of contact for questions.

COMMUNICATE REGULARLY WITH CLIENTS DURING COVID-19

Customers require a different approach than employees, given that companies do not have the same access to this group. You should:

  1. Focus on what is important to the customer. Inform them about changes to working hours, business procedures, and preventive measures
  2. Provide relief when possible. Depending on your industry, clients may need to make changes to their services. JetBlue became the first airline to waive change and cancel fees for coronavirus-related concerns. Whenever possible, you should have an open channel of communication to discuss your customers’ particular needs.
  3. Focus on empathy rather than selling opportunities. Companies should rethink advertising and promotion strategies to be more in line with the current situation. Companies that are seen as trying to profit on the situation, have been losing clients and partners.

REASSURE SHAREHOLDERS

 In a crisis, your shareholders can fear that your business is going to be greatly affected. To curb this, you should:

  1. Be transparent in communicating near-term challenges
  2. Use the crisis as an opportunity to reinforce the corporation’s long-term fundamentals
  3. Communicate what you are doing about the problem
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When dealing with uncertainty, leaders need to look at communication from the perspective of their audience and have empathy for them.

Read more: Coronavirus: Guidance for Better Mental Health

Contact us today!

Keep communicating with your community. Contact us today to discover how we can help you with a crisis communication plan. Call us at 01 531 2695 or email sales@azurecomm.ie