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Communication in Corona Times

It’s certainly strange times for everyone at the moment, with not a person nor industry left unaffected by the sudden emergence of the Corona virus Covid-19.

As a business the information you communicate now, and how you choose to communicate it, will play a key role for you over the next few weeks and months. I thought it would therefore be useful if for my first blog on this new website, I gave a few basic tips on things to think about from a communications perspective.

  1. Customers are key. Whatever your business you rely on customers. It’s therefore vital you keep communicating with them. Let them know the changes you’re implementing as a result of the Corona Virus. If you’re still operating, if you’re operating a restricted service, or if you are able to offer a new service… whatever your position tell your customers. And keep telling them. Stay in touch every few days in some form or another with updates. We all feel calmer and more in control of our direction if we have correct factual information at our fingertips that allows us to make decisions for our own circumstances. That’s what your customers need from you now.
  1. Your employees are also a vital part of your business and its success and they may be worried in this current climate about their own futures. Hold daily or weekly briefings to update your staff on how the business is doing, what changes you are making, what restrictions you are facing. This is especially important if your staff have begun to work from home as this will be alien to many and, combined with being unable to socialise, could make many feel isolated. If you can’t brief in person use Skype or Facetime. You might not think it matters, but it will to the people you employ. You can back this up with information sent by email but the face-to-face contact via online methods is going to become more and more important as the days go by.
  1. Websites and social media are now playing an even more crucial role in our lives than they already did. People rely on the web and social platforms for information so make sure you have appropriate messages scheduled for your Facebook and Twitter accounts and on your website so your followers and customers know the latest state of play.
  1. If you find yourself in the horrendous position of having to reduce staff numbers, even temporarily, be honest as soon as you can. Don’t let rumours start before you give people the true position. There’s lots of advice online for people and businesses. Seek out links to that support, so you have it ready and available to share with people.

None of us know where this situation will end up, but whatever the outcome, staying in touch and communicating clear, concise information to your varied range of stakeholders, including those listed above, should be a done deal.

Good luck to everyone out there trying their best in such rapidly changing and challenging times. If there’s anything I can help with from a comms perspective please get in touch. Gayle

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