THE VALUE OF CORPORATE COMMS IN UNCERTAINTY
Let’s face it, we’re all going to be affected by Coronavirus in some way, whether it’s through our work, our children’s education, our own health or that of a loved one. Life as we know it is taking an unexpected hiatus as we all enter uncharted territory in facing what our Prime Minister has called, the ‘worst public health crisis for a generation’.
For businesses, it is a particularly challenging time, especially in response to the government’s recent announcements on social distancing measures, so right now, the importance of communication to reassure, inform and educate cannot be undervalued.
It’s also a scenario that brings people and communities together. As we distance ourselves physically, communication becomes even more vital. From individuals and small businesses offering to move goods around for those who can’t get out, to global luxury brands such as LVMH using its perfume production lines to manufacture hand sanitiser. Or a call from the government asking manufacturers to use their resources to make more ventilators. Over recent days, we’ve already seen ways communication can make amazing things happen.
We’ve also seen the effect Coronavirus has had on some industries and their handling of the situation. From manufacturers and airline companies to supermarkets, we are all facing unprecedented challenges that has resulted in big brands coming together to deploy reassuring messages aimed at calming, informing and educating.
How companies choose to handle their corporate communications over the coming weeks and months could have a huge impact on their business.
Those we are speaking to after all are clients, shoppers, suppliers and every other type of customer a business relies upon. So, it is important to take into consideration their concerns and who the audience is when communicating. The underlying message people generally want to hear is reassurance.
When communicating during these times, it is important to acknowledge the impact Coronavirus is having and to clearly define measures that your company is putting in place. Also showing appreciation and loyalty to your customers and staff through genuine, human concern for their welfare; all helps to make a business trustworthy in the eyes of its users.
Recognising that this is a situation we all have to face and that its effects are – for all intents and purposes – out of our hands, goes a long way too. Think of the old wartime posters about ‘digging for victory’ and putting on a united front. Being as flexible as you can with your customers’ needs is a very positive message to convey. Can you be flexible with your terms? Can you offer reassurance? Are you doing everything you can to keep your stakeholders informed?
Be positive and highlight how you are contributing to the effort. Small businesses can support each other, share skills and – through good communication – potentially create lasting relationships for once we’re though the other side.
Language and communication can be very complicated. Knowing you have the right message is only half of the task, communicating it correctly is the other half.
Our team is here to offer our support with your corporate communications and messaging. If you need any help, we’re on the end of the phone and would be happy to give you some advice on 0191 341 0045.