This is not a drill.
Whatever happened to 2020 being THE year is now in our rearview mirror.
When it comes to handling crisis, when managed correctly, a company may find itself in a stronger position than before. Customers may feel a renewed trust. If you properly maintain proactive, continuous communication throughout the situation, once on the other side, you will be who the customer remembers as you will already be top of mind.
Right now – as the situation continues to shift and change from day to day, here are general tips to help over the next 30 days.
WHERE IS YOUR MESSAGE?
It is safe to say we are through the first round of communication where you let customers know you are monitoring the current situation and that their health and safety come first. We are now in the next phase of “what’s next” for your company. Unfortunately, without a set timeframe to work from, remaining flexible will be key. From announcing when you think your company may reopen to a moving target date for when you could accept sales and/or reservations once again, various ways to communicate these messages include:
PLAN FOR THE REOPENING
Here is one thing many can agree on: when it comes time to reopen, it will be fast and furious. When that time comes – and it will, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now – ideas to keep in mind:
Currently, media wants to hear about good news and stories to counter the bad. Is your company donating supplies to first responders? Delivering meals to the homeless or single parents struggling to make ends meet? Are you working with fellow local businesses to temporarily create a new service such as this and this?
These are all great deeds the media should know about but also be cognizant about how this information reaches the media. If it is through news releases, it may not seem as genuine as it will feel pre-planned vs. it being executed as an in-the-moment, grassroots efforts. Activate your PR teams to communicate with media on a one-on-one basis: have your call and/or text journalists with whom they have strong relationships to let them know about the good your company is doing. Concurrently, your PR team should be in contact with their counterparts at the organization(s) benefitting from your generosity. In the event media reach out to the organization for comment, not only will they know this good deed is coming down the pike, they will also be able to be on the same page as you regarding messaging.
The reality is our world is changing daily. Stay flexible with your messaging and remain proactive by continuing to share updates with customers and when appropriate, the media.
We’re all in this together.