Communication in corona times: three things communication teams can do
In 2020, the only things that matter are people and their wellbeing. We're going into a period in which audiences will not usually be in the mood to hear about your achievements, your technology or its benefits.
Here are three ways communication teams can react.
There will of course be important messages to your stakeholders and customers that communicate what your organisation is doing to cope with disruption and beat COVID-19. What problems have you overcome to fulfil your responsibilities while people work from home, or operate under constraint in the field? If you developed some smart solutions, you should share them – other people are facing the same problems. Where you can, take time to be clear these are possible thanks to efforts by your people: Their strength, their innovation, and their compassion.
In an absence of company messages, organisations with good reach on social media can lend their channels to social good. It costs you nothing to amplify and spread advice and important information from relevant authorities, the charities you have supported over the years and partner organisations.
Organising remote teams demands new methods for internal communication. Have any new tools opened possibilities for communication with stakeholders in the longer term?
If day-to-day work has slowed it might be an opportunity to review your strategy and consider options ready to pivot when this is over. We can ask: How are the values of our stakeholders and audiences being changed by this? We will have experienced a time of lower energy use and noticeably lower pollution. We will all have seen how quickly nature bounces back when human pressure is lifted. At the same time we will come to know what 'the economy' really means and the hardship that befalls a country when it fails.
How might the energy debate be transformed in the post COVID-19 world? We will have shown that travel is less important, yet human contact is much more important, than we previously assumed. We will have witnessed a multitude of nations respond to a global threat in real time, basing their actions firmly on science. There is no doubt this will refresh the framing of the global clean energy programme.
We may also have found more appreciation for the reliability of our energy supply. If there is already anxiety that toilet paper will run out, just think how much worse it would be if you had to cope with that in the dark.