Now is not the time to stay quiet. Now is the time to show leadership and empathy.
At times of crisis, businesses must communicate clearly with their clients and staff. It is vitally important that you show not only leadership but also empathy. People are concerned about the Corona Virus / COVID-19 and your response must be reasoned, reassuring and supportive, with a healthy dose of confidence around long-term business prospects.
If you haven’t already, get your emails out. Update your website with specific messaging. Use social media to explain how you’re responding. Make use of your internal channels to regularly keep staff updated.
This is not the time to be cold and distant. Show your clients that you understand their concerns and that those concerns are a reasonable reaction; don’t brush them under the carpet, but dispel them rationally. Be clear with your staff about how you’re supporting them to keep working, or with sick-days if they can’t work.
Keep messaging clear and simple
Be methodical with how you express your information. Make sure your content is broken down clearly, so it’s easy for worried readers to find what they are looking for, even if they’re scan reading. Be crystal clear about the plans you have in place. Use simple, numbered lists to explain any new procedures.
If your staff or clients have concerns, make sure they know you are ready to answers their questions, so provide channels where they can contact you. Make sure you give realistic estimates for responses, to avoid frustration.
Consider your tone
Tonally you should be aiming for understanding, reassurance and confidence. Express your understanding of your readers’ uncertainty and that you share it. Re-assure readers but do not dispel fears flippantly. Stay confident and be positive about your organisation’s long-term resilience.
Effective, appropriate messaging is a crucial tool in the effort to curtail misinformation and inappropriate action around the Corona Virus / Covi19. We all have a responsibility to do what we can.
If you need any help, or advice about how to go about this, please just ask us, our advice is free – we all need to do our bit.