Nov 9

Communicating During Now Precedented Times

The frequent press conferences have returned, health guidelines and recommendations are tightening and we’re seeing an influx of board games in my Amazon cart.

Gov. Whitmer and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun recently shared Michigan is currently experiencing more than five times the number of cases from September as well as all-time highs of confirmed cases every day. Hearing these overwhelming (and frankly, depressing) stats has sent me back in time to this past spring and made me reflect on how we’ll again more regularly communicate updates, crucial resources and potential lockdown protocols now that the election is behind us (hopefully).

While this pandemic is still among the most challenging situations most of us have ever encountered, it’s not quite unprecedented anymore. We’ve already created and placed procedures, provided resources and learned to adapt — and we can do it again. Following are three tactics the SPR team found helpful while supporting clients last spring that can help you navigate what lies ahead.

Pay attention

Tune into Gov. Whitmer’s press conferences and/or read the summaries afterward. While this can be difficult as the governor’s team doesn’t typically provide much advance notice, actively staying on top of this evolving situation will quickly help you determine whether or not you need to make any changes in your workplace and/or at home. The SPR team regularly takes turns watching these updates, which has considerably helped us inform, counsel, create content for and prepare our clients in a diligent fashion. Being ahead of the game is its own statement.

 

 

Make resources readily available

The last thing anyone needs is another unnecessary COVID-19 update in their inbox. However, you should make both external and internal communications easily accessible for your team and outside stakeholders. For example, any updates you’ve provided your audiences since March should be located in one spot on your website with a direct link on your home page. Employees should know where your protocols are located virtually and physically – and should be emailed when any substantial updates are made. Your hours of operation and contact information should be identical across all platforms. Pinning any adjustments to the top of your Facebook and Twitter pages and creating a COVID-specific highlight reel on Instagram will also immediately provide your followers with essential information. Don’t make people work for these resources — we’re exhausted enough.

 

Create unified graphics for your platforms

Similar to other campaigns or initiatives you may see on social media, create a set of unified graphics for your platforms to use when sharing COVID-19-related information — Canva is among my favorite tools. These graphics don’t need to be intricate, nor include the structure of the coronavirus cell, but should look professional, follow brand guidelines, provide a web link or contact information and fit each platform’s ideal graphic dimensions. Including these graphics will help your audience recognize when you have an important update — whether a closure or new/adjusted protocols.

 

By now, most of us thought we’d be enjoying concerts, family gatherings and dining out without a care in the world. I certainly was also hoping we could chalk up face coverings as the fashion blip of the decade. However, while we’re definitely not in an ideal situation, we now have the tools and experience to move forward with less chaos and more confidence. This, in and of itself, puts us in a much better position to take on the coronavirus than this past spring.

As my kind, yet fierce, friend, Rubeus Hagrid, would say, “What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.”


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