In this unprecedented time, businesses are feeling the effects of the Coronavirus in different ways. For some, the pandemic means new safety standards are needed to remain in operation; for others, downstream impacts from halted supply chains, emergency budget cuts to services deemed non-essential, or closures/restrictions to storefront traffic mean layoffs are inevitable.
Regardless of the level of impact, all businesses are taking these challenges day by day. As your business navigates the unknown, here are some tips for communicating with stakeholders amid the COVID-19 era:
- Designate one forum for the latest updates – We recommend one blog post that is updated with all things Coronavirus-related as needed throughout the lifecycle of this crisis. Share this out with your distribution channels and communicate that this is the point of reference going forward. Include links to “read more” in social media posts.
- Communicate major changes to internal audiences first – You always want to prevent employees/sales team members from learning big news on social or traditional media.
- Keep it simple – Don’t share speculation or entertain rumors associated with conversations still in progress until strategic direction on the matter is determined. Decide what’s ready and approved to share out, even if information is limited, and organize those thoughts into succinct messages. In this unprecedented time, every word can hold weight, for good or bad.
- Personalize the delivery – Notes from top executives/leaders make an impact. Keeping the tone approachable and candid reinforces brand trustworthiness and credibility of the message.
- Quality over Quantity: Don’t overdo it – Audiences are experiencing email/social media overload now and in the weeks/months to come; be thoughtful and selective about what you share. Reserve re-posts from other brands for the most pertinent information only.
- Communicate major changes to the media in an official capacity – Engage PR partners like PIVOT to prepare press releases or media statements regarding substantial changes to organizational, safety, supply chain, and other related aspects of the business.
- Develop a best practices one-pager for all teams, if not already – This can include a quick snapshot of updated policies, expected manufacturing lead times on products, safety standards for those still working in shared spaces, etc. Imagine this as something “tacked to everyone’s desks”.
- Make points-of-contact clear to internal and external stakeholders – This might be a section that lives on the blog post. Allocate one point of contact for Coronavirus-related inquiries, with name/email/phone number, to every major department in the organization.
Just like you, PIVOT PR is staying on top of developing news and best practices surrounding this crisis. Stay tuned to our blog for more insights in the weeks to come.