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  • Dex McLuskey

In a Crisis, Communications Are Critical

In times of crisis, keeping all constituents informed about critical developments that directly impact them is an overriding duty of every organization, because the measure of any company isn't what it does when the barometer is set fair, but how it reacts and behaves during times of turbulence.

Transcript


As the Coronavirus upends communities and businesses across large parts of the world, tens countless companies are shuttering commercial premises and telling their people to work remotely. And we’re no different.


My family, for example, is now nearing the end of a self-isolation period because of an outbreak of COVID-19 here in Colorado.


And while there are minor upsides like comfy pants, no commute and less shaving, that’s just being flippant because the pandemic is creating real and severe physical and emotional distress in addition to massive economic upheaval and hardship for millions.


There have been lots of posts about how working from home is presenting challenges for individuals, families and organizations, especially those with kids out of school, and the disruption it causes when there’s a need to collaborate with team members or use equipment that you don’t have ready access to at home.


But we can adapt. Broadcasters like CNBC and Bloomberg have been doing many more remote phone, Skype and Zoom video interviews as they work to keep us abreast of record volatility in fast-changing global capital markets.


And workarounds like these show that our content marketing, media, community and public relations activities don’t have to go on indefinite hold.


In fact, more than at any other time, crises demand that we provide frequent, clear, precise, detailed and actionable information to keep all stakeholders abreast of critical developments that impact them.


Even while working remotely we can keep key constituents informed — clients, shareholders, employees, authorities and regulators, journalists, suppliers, contractors, and the communities that we operate in, for example local businesses who rely on our people for daily custom.


So, rather than using these unforeseen, exceptional circumstances as an excuse for a lack of communication, excel by keeping everyone as up to date as possible.


Do what I’m doing here and shoot, edit and upload quick videos to websites and social media accounts. They don’t have to be super polished. They need to be reassuringly timely and helpful.


Do the same with blogs, internal and client emails, press releases, media interviews and other communications such as social media posts, team calls and webinars.


Don’t allow outdated information to fester on these assets. Keep it up to date.


Because the upshot is that the measure of any organization is not what it does when the barometer is set fair, but how it reacts and behaves when things go wrong.


So don’t be complacent, go the extra mile so that you come out of this with your reputation enhanced because of the effort you made to be the best you could be during extraordinary, trying times.