At Infinite Global we are hearing from our clients and peers who are concerned about how to prioritize communications during this time of great uncertainty. The following are some basic guidelines for firms that are unsure about where to start.
Owing to the extraordinarily fluid and rapidly changing situation, the nuances of crafting internal communications and responding to external inquiries (from clients and the media) will be very specific to your firm and the news cycle that day. We welcome questions and comments about that point and any of the following at email@example.com
1. Take care of your employees
They are without a doubt your single-most important group of stakeholders and the lifeblood of your organization. Communicate with them frequently making sure everything that is disseminated adheres to the 3 C’s of crisis communications: clear, concise and consistent.
Don’t just tell your employees they are your top priority, show them...
Don’t just tell your employees they are your top priority, show them through the actions of the leadership team and give them channels through which to communicate their concerns and questions. Listen, respond and react in a way that makes it clear they are your top priority.
2. Use strategic communications to ensure business continuity
Take a moment to assess what your customers, clients, vendors and key elements of your supply chain care about. Use the channels of communication that they are most accustomed to to address their concerns proactively and as with your employees, make sure you make it easy for them to ask questions.
...if one of your key stakeholders has a question, dozens of others are asking the same thing.
Chances are if one of your key stakeholders has a question, dozens of others are asking the same thing. Use this knowledge and communicate proactively. Thoughtful interactions with the media can be very valuable here but require planning and a solid strategy.
3. Do your part to flatten the curve – and talk about it
As business leaders and employers of a workforce, it is your responsibility to stay informed of and ensure your organization is adhering to the evolving guidance set forth by the CDC and WHO.
Be proactive in communicating with staff and clients on how this guidance is impacting your workforce, which likely includes a remote-work policy, and provide clear information on the steps your organization is taking to do this with minimal disruption to workflow.
Empower your workforce to stay at home, and give them the information, tools and technologies to do this with ease.
Zach Olsen leads Infinite Global’s San Francisco office and oversees the firm’s crisis response and reputation management group. In addition to the management of Infinite’s global operations, Zach’s work includes helping organizations and individuals prepare for and respond to crises that threaten their reputations, brands and bottom lines.