Communicating With Your Clients Around COVID-19
Don’t Lose Touch
By Meghan Rothschild
The last two weeks have been an unprecedented storm of chaos for anyone managing a business, small or large. Effectively communicating changes in event plans, services, and fundraising strategies is no small feat and requires consistency and strategy. Staying in touch with your clients and customers has never been more challenging, yet more important.
We at Chikmedia have been navigating these communications challenges not only for clients, but for ourselves as well. Remaining calm, proofreading before you click ‘post,’ and applying a strategy are your best bets. We’ve drafted some go-to tips and tricks for ensuring your business looks polished and communicative during this time.
Identify your primary team/spokesperson during this time. As is true with any crisis, you must put together your decision-making team. Your primary spokesperson should not be the president or business owner, as you need a buffer for filtering information between the key decision maker and your primary audiences.
Outline and implement compliance strategies. Explain what you are doing to comply with CDC recommendations, such as, social distancing, hand washing, hand sanitizing, and encouraging staff to work remotely.
Write your plan down. Make sure you have committed to compliance policies that work for you and your business. Don’t say you’re offering hand sanitizer if you don’t have it in house yet.
Ensure your entire team is up to date. Your staff should be well-versed in what the plan is moving forward. Arm them with the copy points they need to communicate effectively to the public, your customers, and other important constituents.
Make a public statement. If you haven’t done this already, you should, immediately. Even if you are not currently operating or client facing, you must acknowledge what is happening in the world; otherwise, you appear reckless and out of touch. Include information on how it will impact your customers and your business.
Use all of your channels when communicating. Use e-news, social media, signage, your website — whatever you currently use to communicate to clients.
Continue to post. Even when you do not have an update, you must continue to acknowledge and keep your customers informed. They will want to hear from you regularly.
Navigate the official updates from the CDC. Make sure everything you post has been confirmed by two sources and is factual. Do not share content that is not confirmed, not vetted, or from unreliable sources.
Continue to produce regular content. Don’t make it all about COVID-19. Do not stop posting or let your social channels go dormant, as algorithms will penalize you. It may feel awkward to post regular content, but it’s important to maintain some consistent messaging and normalcy on behalf of the business.
Start developing your post-virus plan now. How are you going to get people back through the door when this is all over? Will it be through an event or a major sale? What about a big contest or giveaway? Be thinking about how you will re-engage your audience when the competition will be at its highest. Do not wait: have the plan prepared and ready to go for when the world begins to spin again.
Should you have questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to shoot us a note at [email protected]. You can also visit our website, www.chikmedia.us, for more information.
Meghan Rothschild is president of Chikmedia.