Six Tips for Strategic Communications During the Pandemic
Updated: Jun 10, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has hit all of us hard, especially those whose business depends on in-person client interaction. The luckiest in our community are able to continue working or running their businesses remotely without much change in the business or client engagement. Unfortunately, so many more depend on customer interaction, which has been sharply curtailed during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are a few tips for communicating about your business as you remain open, start to reopen, or even if you plan to remain closed for a while longer.
1. Goals. Set goals for your business and your communications and keep your eye on the ball. During this difficult time it is crucial to define your business goals realistically and develop communications goals and strategies to support your business objectives. This means knowing what you plan to do during the pandemic, understanding your audiences, and crafting your messages appropriately. Try not to stop all communications while you’re closed.
2. Branding. Think about your “brand,” which is the face you want to show the world. Here you want to understand the story you want to tell the world about yourself and your business. How do you want to be known? What do you want people to remember about you? One component of this is graphic branding, but really all communications should reflect your brand...meaning your business identity. This can include what you do, whom you employ, what you sell, what your values are, and what your priorities are in business and in the world.
3. Be proactive. It is important to maintain communication with your customers and the community throughout the period of closure and re-opening. This means choosing the channels of communication that your customers use and continuing to talk to them, rather than simply responding to inquiries. Your channels could mean email, social media, your website, aggregate websites, or business association messages.
4. Understand different communications channels. If you’re not familiar with social media, how it works, and how it can work for you, now’s a good time to educate yourself or hire someone to help build a social media audience for you. If your website doesn’t tell your story the way you want it to, now’s a good time to revisit the branding or your site to make sure it says what you want it to. If you haven’t ever taken the time to initiate an email marketing campaign, now’s a good time to start.
5. Make sure your message is consistent: As you communicate with your audience, using your branding, make sure all of your communications, no matter what the channel, are consistent and support your business goals. Make sure that every time you’re talking about your business, the message tells the exact story you want to be telling about yourself. And then work to get your message out widely. If you don’t know how to do these things, find someone who does know and ask for help.
6. Be inclusive. One of the hallmarks of these times is the reminder that we need to be inclusive, welcoming, and accepting of all the different communities we live among. I’ll have another post about how to include anti-racism into your communications. For now, just remember that your communications should be representative of all your customers and communities. Foster a sense of belonging rather than exclusion.
Be bold. Go forth and conquer. From a distance. With a mask.