Today, effective communication is more important than ever.
As COVID-19 impacts more people and businesses every day, SideCar PR is here to help guide you through how to communicate during these challenging times. While the type and frequency of communications will evolve over time, the way you respond now has a lasting impact.
We’ve put together some best practices for communicating with your audiences – from employees to tenants to investors to partners – when dealing with a crisis like COVID-19.
- Take a breath.
We know these challenging times can feel overwhelming. It’s important to stay calm and take a moment of pause before acting. Additionally, well-respected organizations and leaders have the opportunity to set the tone for how their employees and communities will feel about and respond to a situation.
2. Gather (accurate) information.
During times of crisis and panic, news travels particularly fast as more and more new information is released in real-time. This has been evident during the entire COVID-19 timeline. It is important to rely on information from trusted sources such as the medical community and government officials.
3. Consider your specific audiences
Different audiences require different messages in times of crisis. While there needs to be a core message that is woven throughout all of your communications (health and wellbeing should remain a top priority), consider what is most important to a particular audience and lead with that.
4. Be clear, concise and empathetic
Especially when there is a global crisis like a pandemic, people are absorbing more content than normal. In all of your communications, be clear and to the point, while never sacrificing the chance to show someone you’re listening. Empathy during these times will help people feel calm and confident that you know what you’re doing and have their best interests in mind.
5. Be consistent and available
Keep your audience updated as new information evolves. Keep the lines of communication open and respond quickly to all incoming questions and comments.
6. Build camaraderie during ‘social distancing’
As we all move into a more virtual world, consider how your communications efforts can help people feel more connected. Just because we are socially distant doesn’t mean we can’t be social. We are privileged to have the technology that can help us create and build connections in new and creative ways. Plan virtual happy hours with clients, employees and partners and leverage social media to provide services online. These times are challenging and uncertain, but we should still feel empowered to find new ways to connect with one another.