Polaris is advising a number of clients on how to handle the communication challenges presented by Covid-19.
Combining advice from our national body the Chartered Institute of Public Relations here are some ideas:
INTERNAL AND STAKEHOLDER COMMS
1. Employees, stakeholders and suppliers will look to senior management for trusted information and guidance. They will want information regularly, with timings clearly communicated – without this they will fill in the blanks and that will lead to speculation and rumours. Use trusted sources to make your decisions, such as NHS, WHO and Public Health England.
2. It is ok to not know the answer to everything but you do need a plan – tell people what you are doing, who is involved and where they can ask questions. You can set up a dedicated email address or a group on one of your internal social networks if you feel it is needed.
3. Make sure everyone knows how, where and when future updates will be provided. It is important that there is a single accurate source of news and updates for the organisation and that everyone knows what this is. Make sure the message is consistent and if you are making changes to the guidance, make it clear where those changes are.
4. Video messages are a great way to communicate messages from your CEO. At times of uncertainty employees and stakeholders like to see updates directly from leaders, it can help bring reassurance and clarity on the organisations approach.
5. As part of your Business Continuity Plan, work closely and meet regularly with a core group of managers from across the business ensuring that decisions are communicated promptly to staff. This should include clarifying working from home policies and plans you have in place, including for those who need to stay at home (self-isolate).
6. Communicate caring positivity to workforce and stakeholders. Doctors are advising exercise, diet and stress levels can make a significant difference to immunity. If your business can stay open in the coming weeks offer the right foods, personal training exercise classes and yoga. Read: easy ways to boost you immunity and fight coronavirus Yorkshire Post
1. Recession can bring renewal and innovation enabling you to come back strongly after the crisis. With trade fairs, events and networking being abandoned social media and mainstream media can fill the gap. Plan a campaign of news stories, thought-leadership blogs and vlogs and technical articles for LinkedIn, You Tube and Twitter. Target trade and regional press. Audit trade press forward features. You can reach a large audience of desk bound workers through these channels.
2. Support a local charity at the frontline of the crisis. See how your workforce, suppliers and facilities can help make a positive difference helping people in need. Polaris’ nominated charity Liverpool Seafarers Centre is looking for volunteers to help seafarers unable to leave their ships by undertaking shopping on their behalf.
With very best wishes and good health for us all
Polaris Media Management Ltd
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/Ben Pinnington
Proud to support Liverpool Seafarers Centre