Until now, most companies have been monitoring and planning for Coronavirus developments inside board rooms or from the sidelines. From a PR perspective, news coverage and external communications have focused on multinational companies with great exposure to China, such as Apple and Tesla.
That time is over, as the landscape has now shifted:
- Infections and fatalities are increasing across more regions.
- The news cycle is getting more intense.
- The media cannot be relied upon as a strategic information source, and misinformation is proliferating across the social web at rapid speed.
- Google searches are well above where they stood when the WHO declared the virus a “public health emergency of international concern” (see below).
Companies need to activate crisis comms and business continuity plans in light of the rapid spread of the virus to ensure they are able to address multiple stakeholders as internal and external inquiries come in.
Here is what the Silverline Communications team can help you with:
- Comprehensive Internal Communications FAQ: This will help mitigate anxiety and ensure business continuity. Employees look to their employers as a trusted source of information now more than ever, making timing even more critical. Diffuse Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) by deploying immediate, transparent, and proven comms strategies.
- Media and Social Communications: Make sure you have carefully crafted drawer statements for social media and journalists, as well as a phone tree and if/then diagrams to align the communications team as to when to deploy them. Cross-functional internal communications and coordination are important and make sure to engage objective third parties for review of content.
- Stakeholder Communications: Get out there and lead! Organizations must broach the virus topic proactively with customers, important business contacts and other key stakeholders – both for continuity and reassurance purposes, and to inform on specific issues, be it supply chain, travel, or otherwise. Again, seek an objective partner in this to review communications before hitting send.
- Reliable Resource:For US-based companies, COVID-19 information coming directly from the CDC is going to be the most up-to-date, relevant and accurate information available. Do you have a list of sources for monitoring outside of the CDC? What’s the monitoring plan? Don’t have one, well now is the time.
We are available to assist your team with messaging, crisis protocol, company internal communications, media interviews – or any other element of communication around your business and COVID-19.
You can reach our team as follows:
- For international and the East Coast region, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- For the Western region, contact email@example.com
- For the Midwest region – firstname.lastname@example.org