During this trying time as we all adjust to the effects of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) it is essential that you present timely and effective communication to your customers, employees, partners, and investors. With any crisis communication plan, you need to be transparent, honest, and clear about how your businesses is handling the situation. By having a plan in place, you can help reduce the chaos of mixed messages and incorrect information.
Here are the steps to follow when addressing a crisis.
1. Acknowledge the situation
2. Provide details of how you’re handling the crises
3. Depending on the scale of this crisis as it pertains to your business, create an FAQ page on your website to address any questions, and prevent misinterpretation of your message. It should include:
- a. Acknowledgement of the crisis
- b. Specific actions taken in response
- c. Real or potential effects for your employees and customers
- d. Steps taken to prevent future occurrence
- e. Contact information for actual people at your business – not a general contact form or email address.
4. Control the conversation. Ignoring a major issue will only make it worse. Allowing people to voice their concerns in a controlled manner via a Facebook post, e-mail, website, or any other platform, will allow your business the ability to monitor and moderate conversations from a central location.
5. Don’t engage in rumors, speculation, or an online argument, especially if comments are particularly abusive or inflammatory.
6. Inform ALL employees of the crises. They should be as knowledgeable as the general public.
Remember, silence is not helpful during a crisis. Your customers and employees need to hear from you. Sharing facts as you learn them will help instill trust in your business.
Need More Help?
If you need help developing your crisis communications message we’re here to assist. Contact us to learn more about how to quickly put a crisis communications plan in place for your business. We can provide rapid communication planning and coordination plus multi-channel distribution.