No matter the nature of your business, chances are it is being impacted on some level by the coronavirus pandemic. While this is a stressful, uncertain time, it is temporary. And we are all in it together. How your business addresses this public health challenge is a reflection of your brand for both the short and long term. This is not the time to panic, but to be proactive and calculated in developing a communications strategy.
Consider what you can do to keep employees and customers safe and how you will communicate any new or expanded measures you are enacting. Follow guidelines from local, state, and national officials, and, if possible, go above and beyond them as feasible and appropriate. What kind of support and guidance can you offer your staff if they can’t come to work because they’re ill or their children’s schools are closed? Come up with a list of procedures and local resources for them to consult should they be unable to work. And, if viable, compensation for missed work. They are looking to you for leadership.
Positively leverage this situation as an opportunity to instill confidence in your employees and customers. Show the community you care and are taking proper precautions. Once you have established your procedures, it’s time to communicate them to preserve your image and your business. Spread your message via the communications channels you normally use, whether that is social media, email marketing platforms, website, and press release distribution. And be consistent. Your proactive message doesn’t have to convey doom and gloom – frame it in a way that reflects your brand and resonates with your audience.
Have a protocol and communications plan in place should COVID-19 make an appearance at your business, whether it’s contracted by a customer or employee. Be prepared with appropriate messaging for both your staff and the public, so you aren’t caught off guard and facing damage control without a well thought out plan. We have seen this occurrence with businesses of all sizes – independently owned and local to global companies. Which scenario would you prefer: having an employee get sick following your efforts to put every possible precautionary measure in place, or after you have done nothing differently? The former puts you in a much more enviable position to respond to questions and criticisms from the public and the press.
As a small company, we are sympathetic to businesses facing this dilemma. If you need communications guidance during this time, we will do our best to work within your budget. Redhead Marketing & PR can easily partner with companies in Park City, Salt Lake City, and outside of Utah. We all have the same end goal – to get through this epidemic as unscathed as possible. Be sensible, stay healthy, and take care of your families, employees, and communities.