COVID-19 Crisis Communications
The goal of crisis communications planning is to adapt effectively to threatening and sudden developments as quickly as possible. Here are some questions to consider when thinking of crisis communications:
- Do you have a crisis communications plan? If yes, does it include an action plan for a widespread health emergency?
- Who are your most important stakeholders? Arguably, employees are your most important audience, followed by customers (however they are defined), vendors, investors/funding sources and other business partners.
- Employees are most concerned about their own health and that of their loved ones. Are you providing the information they need on how they can protect themselves and their families?
- Do you need to update/create/implement policies regarding working remotely, business travel, conferences and meetings, supply chain continuity, and other concerns?
- Do you have an intranet, mass communication platform or other highly effective means of communicating quickly with your entire employee base? Are your contacts updated?
- What do your communications strategies need to address? Ideally, communications are addressing the actions you are taking to create awareness, protect people, instill confidence, build trust and enhance credibility.
- Who is responsible for communicating to each audience? What is the best vehicle to reach each audience quickly and effectively? How are you keeping leadership updated?
- Key messages, talking points and Q&A should be prepared, approved and placed in the hands of all those who are responsible for communicating with various stakeholders.
If you consider these questions thoughtfully, you will be in a better position to respond agilely to the volatile challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.