It’s been an uncertain week for all of us. With COVID-19 spreading globally, companies and individuals are facing many difficult decisions, including what work looks like for the foreseeable future. How are we keeping ourselves, our employees and our clients safe, while, for many, still conducting business and keeping the economy afloat?
At Blunt, we’re already a virtual business, and work remotely to serve our clients. That won’t change. In fact, as communicators trained in crisis communications, this week has been busy for us, as we constructed COVID-19 response messaging for many of our existing clients.
Do you know the message you’d like to get out to your employees, clients or other stakeholders? If not, let us help.
Messaging will be different based on who you are targeting with your outreach. It is not a “one-size-fits” all scenario. You have to be mindful of which of your audiences you’re trying to address:
- Who are you addressing?
- What are the best ways of reaching them?
Once you’ve decided who you’re talking to and how you’re going to reach them (don’t forget the importance of this step as social media messaging is going to be very different than a personal email), you’ll then need to construct your messaging to be very crisp and clear. Get to the point. People, in general, are in a time of information overload and need to find the information they need quickly and easily.
Once you’re ready to write, your messaging should address the key important questions those audience members will have:
- What (very) specific measures are you taking to protect them/provide solutions during COVID-19? e.g. Are your offices staying closed or open? Are you providing digital solutions? How are you keeping your work place clean and sanitized?
- When is that effective? i.e., From when to when? Even if the answer is “I don’t know” when it comes to re-opening. Say that you are closed “indefinitely as you wait for the situation to unfold” as it shows that you’ve thought about it.
- Listing of all considerations you made in your COVID-response decision.
- Who can they contact to learn more?
Also consider, who are you speaking as? Are you speaking as management? On behalf of an industry? As yourself, the small business owner? Make sure you identify your voice (could be as simple as in your closing) as it will lend credibility and clarity to the message your select audience is consuming.
Finally, during this uncertain time where concern and living with a new (hopefully) short-term reality is happening to all of us, remember to be human. The golden rule is important here. How would you like to be treated right now? Look for the win-win and remember to show kindness and understanding with your strategy, policy and communications.
Those are the basics, and we can certainly help you with more detailed strategic or communications planning, including a review of existing communications or the provision of carefully constructed messages for your own distribution.
Stay healthy out there.