COVID-19 Communicating in times of crisis

These last few days have been hard and will continue to be so for a while yet, as we all figure out what the impact on businesses will be. However, this situation presents an opportunity to build or strengthen customer relationships and demonstrate industry leadership in uncertain times. It’s never been more important to maintain communications with your customers.

Time to read: 3 mins

Yes, we all have to adjust our communications strategies to stay connected, but it’s important to maintain and protect human connection. Social media and other forms of communication can help us do that. What you say and how you say it is crucial in times of crisis.

To help you communicate efficiently and effectively, and to remain as transparent as possible, here are some practical things to consider/action in the short-term:

  • Update your website. Check opening hours and contact details. Add to your blog/news pages if you have industry specific information. Check all your images and external links are appropriate and work.
  • Update your social media pages. Check opening hours, if you are working from home, is it business as usual? Check your ‘About’ section and phone numbers. Check and remove, or edit any scheduled communication that isn't relevant now. Check any auto-replies you have set up. And if you’ve come up with a unique idea to make this situation easier share it.
  • Communicate with your clients via email. Share the facts and your reality, this is the place for a little more detail if you need to. Refer to official sources of information when required and avoid using alarming language. Add images and share resources.
  • Check all of your advertising bookings update or adjust the language, timings and messaging. Please talk to your ad reps about your options.
  • If you’ve had to cancel events; offer webinars, online meetings or chats; and maybe now you can try out Facebook or Instagram stories. Maintaining a personal approach is important, as we can often misinterpret people’s tone of voice in an email.
  • Think about any sponsorships that you have, share positive stories how you help, who you help and why. Share and celebrate your community spirit.

Basically, don’t stop communicating. It’s time to tell a different part of the story, and be mindful of what you communicate, how often and the language you use.

While short-term tactics are needed to adjust to our current reality, businesses need to think longer term, using the rapid lessons learned during the pandemic to build lasting relationships with customers.

Refer to your marketing strategy to keep your business vision statement at the heart of everything you do say/do as that won’t change.

Above all, act with empathy, everyone is experiencing high levels of stress in different ways.

DISCLAIMER: Our team is dedicated to helping you continue with business as usual, as much as you can. Information on government help is changing constantly and within hours of articles being added, the specifics may be out of date or only partially accurate. While we endeavour to keep this website accurate and current, our top priority is providing our clients with dedicated and relevant personal advice. If you need specific and up-to-date information, please seek help from your usual advisor directly.

No liability is assumed by Baker Tilly Staples Rodway for any losses suffered by any person relying directly or indirectly upon any article within this website. It is recommended that you consult your advisor before acting on this information.

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