Communication More Important Now Than Ever
The impact of COVID-19 has changed our lives in many ways over the last few weeks, but one thing that remains certain in uncertain times is the importance of communication. Communication with your employees, clients, vendors and other stakeholders must continue whether your business is open, closed or working from home.
Information about and surrounding this pandemic seems to change by the hour, so what should you communicate? In our work on several COVID-19 communication teams, we’ve found the following approach to be helpful and impactful.
With constant information updates from officials and the news, it can be hard to know what’s accurate information about the virus. Only share information from reliable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your state/local health officials and local healthcare providers.
Communication to protect is two-prong: personal and business. Personal comes as advice and tips for employees. This may include what they should do to protect themselves from the virus, how to efficiently work from home, and what they need to know if their wages are impacted by COVID-19. Business communication to customers and stakeholders may depend on your business type and how you regularly communicate with them, such as email or newsletter updates. If you’re receiving the same questions from your business audience, consider putting together a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet. That way you can answer their questions without being asked again and again.
Just like the precautions to stay healthy, it’s important to act on symptoms if an employee gets sick or if your business needs funding assistance. There are a lot of webinars and information for businesses sharing what to do to protect the health of your business. If your business can share your expertise or aid businesses in these difficult times, communicate the information you have to share with them clearly and with contact information for their questions.
It’s so important to remind staff, clients, vendors and stakeholders that you’re here for them during this difficult time and that you care about their health and safety.
We’ll all get through this together and we’re here for you if you need us!