Since the onset of COVID-19 has altered the business landscape for everyone, organizations have been forced to rethink their communication strategy amid other considerations. Many companies have been pushed to deliver prompt responses while making plans for the foreseeable future along with consideration for risks and challenges.
This sudden and unexpected strain on organizations as they continue with regular operations and simultaneously deal with the fallout of the crisis has proved a challenge that very few were prepared for.
The pandemic crisis that began in the earlier months of 2020 quickly made organizations realize the need for detailed and vigorous risk and crisis management strategies. Additionally, it brought to light the significance of sketching out communication strategies amid crisis as they are an integral part of crisis management.
Under these circumstances, you must ensure steady and clear communication with all relevant stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, customers, business partners, and anyone else in connection to your business, in order to help them understand the situation and your efforts to deal with it.
As you develop your communication strategy, you may discover best practices and improved tactics that may create a robust armor for your business against any future crisis.
- Don’t Be Quiet
It’s the worse thing a company can do during times of crisis. 59% of media and analysts received less news as compared to the same time last year. Your reticence is highly understandable as you may want to assess the situation and wait for incoming developments, but the silence can fuel panic and distress of your stakeholders, and their confidence in your capabilities.
Therefore, it’s essential that you maintain steady communication with your internal and external stakeholders regarding your next step and ensure customer engagement, which would require a highly responsive crisis team in place.
- Establish a Permanent Task Force
Since the onset of the pandemic, many companies have established internal task forces that could monitor the current situation and plan their responses and actions accordingly. Risk management professionals play a vital role in these internal teams.
Creating a formal task force that communicates appropriate responses to your stakeholders and public showcases your company’s aplomb during these difficult times and boosts their confidence in your ability to tackle the crisis.
As for the individuals playing their part in the company’s core task force, they have garnered valuable experience and set of skills in handling difficult situations. So it falls upon you to not let all that valuable expertise go to waste with the disintegration of the task force even after you don’t need it.
The crisis is inevitable and they usually crop up when you least expect them. Therefore, it will be more apt if you appoint them as a permanent task force, ready to respond at the first sign of omen. Meanwhile, in regular business days, they can revert to their original positions if necessary, and also see to their training, particularly the key members, so they can improve upon their original response strategies.
Also, you must not forget that this task force must be more than a communication symbol of your organization; the team must be granted time and resources to push a company-wide action to the pandemic, and also to future developments
- Fine-Tune Your Communication Channels
Apart from establishing a task force that regularly gathers live updates regarding the crisis, most companies also gathered external crisis-related information from various resources and stored into one central archive. Any information related to the on-going crisis, including updates, established facts by other entities, policies, procedures, and even rumors should be maintained in one place.
For example, the company can place all the information live on its website, and all communication channels such as internal and external emails, social media, and other channels can refer to it. In times like these, stable and fast internet connection is necessary to avoid breaks in the communication flow, therefore consider going for a reliable provider like Charter Spectrum. The provider offers multiple residential and business internet packages such as Spectrum Silver Package that includes varying advantages relevant to your needs.
Apart from making your information repository accessible to all stakeholders, track relevant metrics such as which updates were viewed the most and at what time. Also, monitor customer sentiment in comments and respond so as to maintain a positive sentiment.
Monitoring these aspects can help determine what your stakeholders prioritize and require of you during a crisis. Being aware of the channels that employees and customers utilize to consult with your organization regarding crisis can greatly help in fine-tuning communication channels.
- Keep Your Response Plan Updated
In 2019, no one would have expected the tumult that a viral disease would cause in 2020 so it wasn’t something anyone could have effectively planned. However, many could still conceive associated risks. Many companies had certain protocols in place for a health crisis such as Work-From-Home policies or precautions during employee-customer interactions.
As the pandemic has come to pass, we have witnessed quite many alterations and adaptations in the industry and regulatory scenario. Unfortunately so, the current pandemic is not the only crisis a company would be dealing with, therefore all-around organizations would need to keep their current response plan perpetually updated with room for flexibility in order to deal with any unfavorable future instances.
The COVID-19 crisis would end eventually, but it would leave behind a robust case study that most companies and risk management professionals can pour-over. Subsequently, they can assess the chinks in their risk management and communication strategies during the crisis and its results. Moreover, a lot of best practices can emerge from the current scenarios, and may even change the way how companies used to respond during a crisis.
Baldwin Jackson is a successful digital marketer with expertise in search engine optimization and content marketing. The perfect balance of his analytical ability and creative thinking is what sets him apart from other practitioners in the digital marketing realm. He has helped a lot of small and medium-sized businesses in crafting their digital marketing strategies that are not only cost-effective but delivers results as well.
Baldwin is also a proud father of two kids and a Sports enthusiast. When he is not working, you will find him watching ESPN and NFL network. He has been able to get an amazing package on his favorite channels from Buytvinternetphone.com.