We are living during a pandemic, with one half of the population panic buying and the other half too afraid to go shopping for fear of contracting the potentially life-threatening virus.
COVID-19 is essentially the focal point of all the news around the world right now. There seems to be a lack of positive news in this moment in time. Businesses (no matter what the size) are terrified that the virus is going to have a detrimental impact on them. Additionally, there appears to be a general sense of miscommunication in the air.
Everyone has been affected by this pandemic, and a result are experiencing their own crises.
This all sounds very negative, right?
Positivity is key
I think that the best thing to do right now is to keep the positivity flowing. You’re probably wondering how is this even possible during COVID-19? Trust me, it really is.
There is a need for positive news stories right now, so it’s down to comms to focus on creating press releases to highlight the positive stories from your clients, businesses and local communities.
Has one of your clients just won an award? How are businesses supporting each other during COVID-19? Is there a local legend or hero in your town? This is the kind of positivity that we need, so I recommend that positive news stories become a focus in your organisation. A great website to get inspiration on positive news stories is the Good News Network.
Support other businesses
Most businesses are fearful of what their future holds because of the uncertainty caused by the virus. Many people all over the world are now working from home or not at all; therefore, businesses supporting one another has never been more vital.
At Faith PR, one of our clients has created a support network for local businesses. My Management Accountant is offering free financial advice to firms during the crisis, from cash flow management to accessing loans and grants, as well as providing a supportive space for business owners to voice their experiences and concerns. This is the type of support that businesses need and value in a time of crisis.
At times like this, the importance of technology to businesses and stakeholders cannot be underestimated. We understand the importance of social media and the power of the internet, but unfortunately not all businesses use these on a day-to-day basis. There has never been a better time to encourage stakeholders, clients and other businesses to switch to online services and social media platforms. As well as helping to keep business going, it contributes to the cycle of businesses supporting one another.
Much of the panic around COVID-19 has been caused by miscommunication or false information. There has been tons of information; you can’t escape it on the news or social media, but it’s not all helpful or correct.
It is crucial that all comms organisations are communicating extensively with their stakeholders to avoid panic. Let’s think of it as communication 2.0 – taking communication to the next level.
Communication 2.0 to me means:
- Keeping fully on top of emails – yes even the dull ones
- Making regular phone calls, since F2F contact is not recommended
- Branching out into technology and looking at options such as Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
- Adopting a calm tone in all of your communication with stakeholders
- Actively using social media/internet and encourage your stakeholders to…
Keep calm and carry on
At this challenging time, it is key to keep the positivity alive, be supportive of others and keep communication strong.