COVID-19 and now the Delta variant continues to impact our world. It’s not news that it has changed the way we work, socialize, and shop and more. While things have improved since spring 2020, we continue to grapple with the new normal. As a result, what is crucial to moving forward is how we manage our communication.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve been through this. From the Spanish Influenza of 1920 to the economic crisis in 2008, if there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that bad things will continue to happen. That said, it’s important to realize that every storm will eventually pass. The difference between how we view something retrospectively lies in the way that the issue was communicated in the first place. It’s important to remember that good communication builds trust, eliminates panic and allows for teamwork to effectively solve a problem.
As a result, communications should be at the front line for every company. Using a communications strategist to craft key messages that are presented to your stakeholders and publics in a timely and transparent fashion is crucial in upholding both business and reputation. These processes are designed to clearly present top-line messages, convey the right sentiment to the right audience at the right time.
Five Key Elements to Successful Communications
If you’re looking for a fast easy way to do this, there isn’t any. What you can do is build a framework that will allow you to build as you move forward. Here’s five things you won’t want to overlook.
- Focus on the Message. Before you send anything out, remember what the purpose is. Does it resonate with your audience? Is the writing appropriate for this group?
- Use the right channels for your message. There are many ways to communicate to each audience. Given the wide variety of channels that are currently available – everything from a social media channel such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – to a news release to an internal memo for employee communications and more — choosing the right channel is critical. It’s the best way to make sure that what your communicating is reaching the right audience in the right way.
- Remember, communications is a continuous process. Covid has changed everything. To build a brand, its not a ‘one and done’ thing. Not sure what to say? Consider an update on company activities. Profile one of your key employees or clients. Be proactive and find ways to reach out to customers and clients, as well as employees and other audiences. It lets them know you’re still there, engaged and actively working. It also sets the stage for information and news in general which includes good and perhaps not-so-good news.
- Be relevant, transparent and authentic. In today’s communications, compassion and understanding are paramount. How is your company responding to the Delta variant? Has the supply chain been impacted and what does it mean to deliveries? If you’ve been impacted by a natural disaster, how is the company moving forward? All of these elements come into play to make the company seem responsive, human and real.
- Be engaging. This means talking directly to your audience in the most appropriate manner. Remember to set the right tone. Even bad news can be framed in an effective and more positive note. This alone is critical to how your audience receives – and processes your message.
Crises will continue to happen and companies will survive and move forward. For that to happen, having an effective communications strategy in place will set the stage – and the roadmap for success. Those companies that have this will have a roadmap for success.