It is not business as usual, but it is still doing business!
Why communication is critical to business survival during Covid-19
If there is one thing being proven, repetition and the power of words is really what is currently driving the world forward. No amount of paid-for execution is getting the message across, carefully planned and executed communications campaigns are leading this crisis. With possible talk of extending the lockdown, doing business in alternate ways is becoming a must, as opposed to a temporary survival mechanism. Now is not the time to stop communicating, rather it is when you should ramp up and keep your stakeholders of all varieties engaged and your business relevant.
So, use this lockdown as planning time, figure out what the alternative is for the next six months, or longer, in a world where physical activity is limited and all eyes are now on screens more than, probably, ever! The answer is not to scale back and go underground. This is not a war in the sense that hiding is what will determine the winner, it is the brand that morphs based on circumstances that will shine, agility will count but not if you don’t communicate your plans, ideals and solutions.
Here are some pointers to consider when it comes to your communications:
- Check in with your peeps, do you know how they are all doing? Maybe they have needs you can meet? Getting a collective view will help to plan your way forward and keep your brand top of mind with key stakeholders.
- It is not wrong if you are in survival mode, but maybe consider looking at how you can embrace this situation and target new audiences or deliver new solutions to untapped markets.
- Never before has communications been so fluid. What we thought we were doing last week is now redundant and the plan has evolved. Have a plan but keep refining it so that you are still communicating regardless of how many times the plans change.
- Naturally we can’t speak like nothing has happened, so all communications have to be thoughtful and appropriately toned. I was chatting to a support person at Netflix today and even this virtual stranger ended our call with ‘stay safe’. It is not business as usual, but it is still doing business.
- As we have seen the world over, leadership at a time like this is critical. So, use it within your business or even your home, set the tone, motivate, plan and guess what? Communicate!
- Regular communication is the lifeblood of everyone at the moment. Do not go quiet. You never know what measures will be put in place as this virus continues to wreak havoc in our lives. My business has taken a knock, much like many others, but we need to keep active and making noise. These conversations need to be two-way though, so learn to listen as well.
- Building bridges for people struggling is key now. While we don’t want to necessarily profit right now, we do want everyone to survive. It is important that people know that businesses care. So, share otherwise confidential tips to managing tricky situations, offer to help with issues that may cause them unnecessary strain. Being a human-led brand that communicates, and cares, is way more important right now.
Don’t be quiet. This may extend into months and no business can survive by hiding behind the trenches. Start working on plans to thrive in a much tougher, more digitally led world for the foreseeable future. And if you need help with your communications reach out to me, I am all for helping each other out in these unprecedented times. Use my almost three decades of experience to your benefit, as well as my big heart. It is a combo that saves lives…or at least that is what my clients tell me.