With the realization that work and life will be very different for the foreseeable future during the COVID-19 outbreak, most B2B companies are tackling challenges on how to effectively communicate both internally and externally.
The marketing and communications team, which is often on the front lines for crises, needs to ensure that if they don’t already have a crisis plan in place, that they quickly develop one to be a guiding and calming force for leadership and the overall employee base.
As you are considering a communications strategy for the coming weeks or months, here are a few tips:
1) Issue External Statement on Company Continuity and Employee Policy – Most likely, your company has established a policy for telework for employees and determined cloud-based operations to support ongoing customer efforts. It’s important to let clients, employees and partners know of your efforts and that you are taking the current situation seriously.
2) Don’t Be Tone Deaf – In these initial days and weeks, it’s important that social media posts include a mix of COVID-19-related posts, such as the statement mentioned above, as well as corporate news and coverage. If employees or clients are taking extra steps to help in their communities, share those good news stories.
3) Re-program Your Program – For the most part, press releases and other external efforts should be reevaluated each week. But that doesn’t mean PR efforts should come to a grinding halt. Use this time to recharge your content arsenal with contributed articles and blog content, and don’t forget awards.
The most important aspect of communicating during a crisis – whether you have an official plan or not – is to be as nimble and as transparent as possible.