Communication in times of the Corona virus
The Corona virus has a firm grip on society and the entire business world. After many weeks of uncertainty, it is now clear that the virus will continue to affect our lives for quite some time. But it would be wrong to reduce communication to a minimum in this situation. Why is it especially important to communicate now – and what do you need to keep in mind?
Put yourself in the shoes of the target group for all messages you communicate now:
- How does what you say or write come across to the recipient?
- What effect will it have on them?
Being empathetic and accepting your counterpart with his fears and hopes is even more important in times of crisis than usual.
Keep up the communication
In view of the crisis, you should not only act, but also report on it. After all, creativity can only emerge from this if others learn that you, too, are taking unusual measures to combat the crisis. After all, every single idea helps. In addition to the right tone, pay attention to small nuances in the way you express yourself and to the timing of a communication measure – both in terms of external and internal communication.
Tailor your communications
Of course, it is necessary to adapt the communicative measures to the current situation – but not head over heels, but thoughtfully. Think about
- which messages and content are currently important and correct, and
- which topics will come into focus once the crisis is over.
Align your communication thematically accordingly and refrain from typical crisis communication. This does not mean that you should pretend that there are no problems. Call a spade a spade, but do so in a solution-oriented manner and with positive wording. Report the creative actions you are implementing now to address the current challenges. Engage in positive communication.
Don’t create an artificial link to the crisis
Despite communicating in the most positive and forward-looking way possible, don’t use the current situation as a hook to simply place and promote your own issues. Do not try to construct an artificial connection to the crisis. In the worst case, you would be accused of capitalizing on the current situation. Instead, ask yourself the questions:
- What are the current challenges and needs of your existing and potential customers?
- With which services, products and communication measures can you support your customers now in a meaningful and effective way?
Be flexible and respond to the wishes of your customers and prospects. In this way, you establish yourself as a trustworthy and reputable partner who keeps a cool head and a clear perspective even in times of crisis.
Strengthen your own communication channels
Now is the opportunity to focus on your channels. Already due to numerous canceled trade shows. You may also have time that was already scheduled available again. Use it and think strategically. Focus your communication more on your own channels. For example, intensify direct communication with your customers by
- sending out additional mailings,
- publishing podcast articles,
- holding video conferences and
- holding webinars.
These communication measures can also serve as a substitute for face-to-face meetings or canceled trade shows. In addition, it’s important not to neglect internal communications. Keep your employees informed and responsibly guide your workforce through the crisis. Above all, be present as a person. Personal ties are especially important now.
Empty halls and no people in the conference rooms: In the last few days, rows and rows of major trade shows have been canceled or postponed.
Keep it simple
Whether you’re communicating with customers, prospects, partners or other stakeholders, make sure the content you disseminate is as understandable as possible. What’s needed now are concrete tips and assistance that can be implemented quickly, easily and on short notice. In addition to this very practical and useful content, the communication itself should also be kept emphatically simple and understandable.
Look to the future
Remember two weeks ago, when the world was a completely different place? At some point, this crisis will be over and business life will return to normal. But will it be the same as before? Many are not so sure and believe that new standards will be established. Be prepared that many things will return to the way they were before the Corona crisis, but by no means everything. And what can be decisive: After the crisis, people are more likely to remember the companies that showed the flag even in difficult times – and not those that had pulled up all the communications drawbridges. The decisions you make today in terms of communications will influence how the market perceives you tomorrow, in the post-Corona era.