As the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow, several companies and brands face issues on what to communicate and how to deliver it. These messages can be distributed quickly via press release, social media or even simple word of mouth but can either enhance or even harm a business depending on how it is delivered.
“The current worldwide epidemic of COVID-19 is a good case study of what businesses should and should not do,” states Oster president, Bev Oster. “The more prepared a company is for the crisis, the better off they will be while minimizing the amount of damage that it can cause.”
How should a company start this communication process?
Begin to plan and develop a strategy with key team members in the company early on to get ahead of the crisis. This will ensure that the message is concise and that everyone agrees and buys into it. The underlying message should convey to your audience a reduced sense of anxiety while keeping them informed on what is happening.
Once an agreement has been made and message drafted, the team must determine which channels to share it on to keep their employees and clients (both current and prospective) current on what is happening and to tailor that message to their respective groups. Think about how many emails that you received in the past few days that talked about a restaurant, store or service and how they are “committed to the health and safety” of their employees and customers. Aside from emails, the message could be conveyed through a press release, an advertisement, social media post or one of the other several communication tactics that are available.
The coronavirus situation worldwide is an important and very serious issue. With countries beginning to lockdown and growing concern on what to do next, organizations need to maintain their tone and message in their follow-up communication pieces. Audiences want to see transparency with a company’s actions during this dire time, regardless if they are internal and or external customers.
Also, organizations need to prepare and stay up-to-date on ongoing breaking news as it is changing minute-by-minute. As the number of cases, vaccines, research and data continues to be released, companies must be responsive to those and adjusting to how it will affect their team and clients.
Ultimately, a crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic, earthquake, or the like, provides an organization the opportunity to show their constituents that they care about them and play a proactive role in providing a positive response that will in-turn enhance their reputation.
This may be difficult for an organization to do but know that Oster & Associates, a full service marketing and public relations agency, is here to support you in your communication endeavors and can help you with your messaging, branding, PR, communications, social media, social listening, advertising (broadcast, print and digital), content development and event planning (especially contingency planning). If you need help in any of these areas, know that we can help and can provide a complimentary initial consultation. Be sure to contact us today!