In our work with clients to address the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, we are beginning to see an echo effect, as the first wave of crisis communications activity, having to do with immediate organizational response, subsides or reaches a maintenance level.
What’s coming next are follow-on communications needs having to do with:
- Determining which businesses are deemed essential in the face of government shut-down orders, and advocating for better choices by policymakers when necessary
- Ensuring workers in essential businesses and those experiencing a Coronavirus-driven demand surge have confidence in workplace disease-prevention procedures and feel safe coming to work
- For businesses that historically do well during economic downturns, positioning them for success
- Keeping businesses that depend on retail sales, such as restaurants, alive by promoting off-premise dining, including delivery, and maintaining customer loyalty
- Building trust and reputational capital by targeting assistance programs to meet human needs and support communities
Some clients already are looking ahead to communications and messaging strategies for “the new normal,” when restrictions are lifted, economic activity begins to resume and business relationships with all stakeholders, from employees to customers to investors, are realigned post-crisis.
I shared a summary of best practices and a look ahead at what’s next in Coronavirus (COVID-19): A Business Leader’s Guide to Effective Crisis Communications, a new whitepaper based on Linhart PR’s recent client experience, presented by the Colorado Chamber of Commerce. You can download the whitepaper here.
I also talked about lessons learned from our COVID-19 client experience recently on an episode of the award-winning ProCo360 business podcast for Colorado entrepreneurs, with host Dave Tabor, who also serves as senior vice president of business partnerships at the Colorado Chamber.