Updated: Mar 20
There is no denying the COVID-19 pandemic has caused panic throughout the world. So, what can we as businesses do to help?
During times of crisis, all customers want to hear is a calm voice telling them there are plans in place to work through the issue with the least possible impact to them.
The Press Gallery has an expert team with extensive experience in PR and crisis management planning. We have used our skills to put together these five tips to get you through the pandemic.
1. Write an internal plan of attack that can be implemented now Having a plan in place to help you move forward in times of crisis is vital to your business’ survival, especially when the globe is facing an unprecedented health crisis and your industry relies on people power to function. Plans will vary depending on the needs of your business, how you operate and the services you provide. Whatever direction you choose to take during a crisis, ensure your plan is watertight and your staff members are aware of their roles. Being prepared is key. We can help or the government has some free resources for you via this link.
2. Communicate your plan effectively and efficiently to your clients Ensure your message is clear and simple and is sympathetic to your audience. You want your clients to know you care and are ensuring their needs and safety are central to your planning. Emails, texts and blog posts are good ways to communicate and these mediums also allow you to embed important website links to external sources that may be of further assistance to clients such as the Coronavirus Health Information Line, Smart Traveller and the Australian Tax Office.
3. Use social media to your advantage Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to help share your message to not only your current audience, but the wider community with the use of relevant hashtags. The #COVID19 hashtag is now trending and people all over the world are using it to uncover news about the unfolding crisis. We recommend you use social media as another means of sharing information about what you are doing to help your clients during this time. You could use a short video or simple photo-based post. Either will show you are calm and in control – therefore your customers will be too.
4. Share how the crisis is impacting your business or industry – and be honest While it is important to first and foremost provide some clarity about what you are doing to assist your clients during this time of concern, it might also be beneficial to disclose how the situation is affecting your business or industry as a whole. This provides insight for your customers and helps to build trust and credibility. Be transparent and honest and keep it high level. At the end of the day, customers want to be informed of the actions you are taking to help them and when so they can plan for any flow on impacts.
5. Insert humour when you can In some instances, it can be appropriate to use humour to communicate your message. Sharing a meme, good joke or quirky survival tip relevant to your industry and audience can take a bit of the bite out of a stressful situation, allowing your followers to have a little light relief – even if only for a moment. But it is important to ensure the content is indeed appropriate and not insensitive. Use common sense to decide.
If you need help developing communications for your clients or require some PR advice, plans or assistance, feel free to get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org