How do you communicate with clients, prospects and suppliers during a crisis? Where business have faced shutdowns and we have seen massive job losses. There has never been a more uncertain time. But one thing is for sure, even if your business has shut down temporarily, you can’t put you head in the sand, now is the time to help your customers and prospects.
A month or so ago I’d invited Bec Derrington, from Source Bottle to be a guest on the Marketing Strategy Show to talk a bit of Public Relations (or PR) and how it can be used effectively.
Then a week before our recently scheduled interview everything changes. All of a sudden it seemed without warning the works had turned upside down, Business were shut down virtually overnight, Staff are forced to work remotely.
With this backdrop Bec Derrington and I talked about how we could help business owners and marketing managers communicate better in this crisis and that’s what this article is all about.
It’s worthwhile checking out the whole podcast interview to get some ideas on what to communicate with your clients during this crisis – COVID-19.
1. Be mindful of your tone.
Think about yourself as a consumer first, and that’s how your customers are going to see your messages not as business people now. Everyone’s getting a tone of messages at the moment. Demonstrate Empathy, Compassion and Human Face.
2. Comfort Messaging
Try to give some people some parameters to work within. We need to be communicating calming messages like a kind of feel when all that terrible panic buying was coming out at the beginning where a strong leadership in an organisation help communicate what’s coming, what they anticipate, what could be the very worst, what could be the very best, and probably this is what’s really going to happen.
3. Meaningful Support
Offer meaningful support, help, in whatever format you can, in whatever communication vehicle you use:
- Social Media like Facebook Live – just share your viewpoint but don’t step outside your boundaries. Make sure that you’re offering up what you can to your community to either, to demonstrate that there’s business continuity. You can be relied on.
- Call Outs – this could be one examples of Social Distancing. Work from home where you are showing support to your customer that you can able to do as well 100%. Reach out to them to say, “Here’s some ideas that might help you and your business get through this time.
From businesses, to be told, and the media in all its forms is the best outlet. Because that business, that industry has been hit hard for years, but at the moment, it’s time to shine, to really step up and be able to work from both good and bad. Of course, to inflame everyone and create that sense of panic, and a sense of urgency, which perhaps in some respects we still need, we still need to communicate the necessary precautions, because this is a real.
Communicate with your audience and your clients and your customers, and just let them know how they can help you. Because everyone wants to help you.
All the crisis communications disasters, it doesn’t matter what you say. It’s going to come across, and people will remember. People will remember the organisations that are supporting them, that help them, and people will remember the ones that inward facing with the wrong intent.
If you need help creating a content strategy, we’d love to help to make this happen for your business. You can reach us on (02) 9125 0520 or visit our website.