As a marketing and communications professional who appreciates the commercial imperative of getting your company’s on-brand messaging and tone of voice in all customer communications ‘just right’; it is perhaps no surprise to read that the last few months have brought myself and the team some serious communication challenges!
Traditional Crisis Management
My crisis management communications experience to date, as that of many other communications generalists no doubt, has been focused on preparing corporate responses to discrete or one-off ‘events’ that have brought previous businesses into the media spotlight – print media or on social platforms. These crises whilst often requiring a compassionate, authentic and factual response, were in the main, time-limited and required an intense period of activity to resolve and respond.
So, how do you manage your communications with your customers, when the crisis is global, lasts months, with almost guaranteed longer-term implications for society and business?
Do More with Less
Communication has never had a more crucial role to play in supporting businesses to weather the storm, to stay in touch with their customers and to support efforts to realign or pivot businesses as they attempt to make sense of the current situation.
Focus on the Basics – 5 Top Tips
- If you use social media scheduling software such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Sprout Social or Loomly; you might want to hit the pause button on planning and scheduling too much in advance, if you haven’t already. This could save you from back pedaling to explain a poorly-timed, inappropriate social post that you scheduled weeks earlier, but had forgotten about.
- Stay ‘On-Brand’ and continue to share company posts that keep you in the consideration set of your customers who are still buying your product; however consider the number and frequency of your posts. You don’t want your brand to fall off a cliff, but likewise don’t just post for the sake of posting; keep your content relevant.
- Make sure that your content reassures and offer solutions to your existing and potential customer base.
- Build connections and get involved in the conversation! It’s called ‘social’ media for a reason; so encourage all members of your team with LinkedIn profile pages, for example, to invest time in deepening relationships with their network and improving their knowledge of their customers’ businesses.
- Perhaps most importantly, be authentic and remember we are in the midst of a global pandemic – so a little bit of lighthearted or ‘soft touch’ content can go a long way. Some of our best performing posts over the last few months have been those about the boxed sets the PG team have binged on; or the pics of the team’s home baking! And on that note….for those of you who have yet to try out my procurement colleague, Leandro’s delicious banana bread recipe, here it is again…. 😊