The essential STEPS for Your Brand Communications
There are no two ways about it, these are challenging times and many businesses are having to communicate in ways that they’ve never had to before.
We are also all in information overload, so how can you inform and support your customers and your staff at this time?
As COVID-19 continues to shape both the news agenda and the economy, we’ve outlined the five important STEPS you need to take to instil trust and authority with the audiences that matter while safeguarding your brand’s reputation.
Knowledge is power, and it’s important to keep pace with the flow of new information during a crisis to ensure you don’t create confusion or appear to be behind the curve.
By reacting to the news agenda quickly and shaping your comms strategy accordingly, you can become a trusted source of information for all your key audiences.
Trust is invaluable
Misinformation, rumour and speculation are rife during a crisis so becoming a voice people trust will build brand value.
Transparency and honesty build trust. For example, it’s ok to admit you don’t have all the answers but are working hard to get them; be human and be authentic.
Be clear, explain what you are doing, and then do it. If you break a promise you’ll soon get called out.
Remember that it’s not all about the bottom line. During a crisis it’s important to be empathetic to customers – you’re all in it together so be understanding and look for ways to go above and beyond the norm.
Where it’s relevant, share positive or inspiring stories that will offer reassurance. Good news can travel just as quickly as bad, and positive feedback and a robust reputation tend to outlast a crisis.
A lot of brands are trying to cut through the noise during the crisis so be clear and concise with your information. Stay relevant to your specialism and informative as to how and why changes may affect your audience.
Never steer into territory that isn’t your area of expertise and make sure you’re monitoring your social media feeds so you can react to both positive and negative feedback as it arises. Have spokespeople on hand who can offer reactive commentary to developments as they hit the press, this will keep your brand front-of-mind for all key stakeholders.
Set the standard
A good comms strategy is underpinned by exemplary internal communications.
Professional ethics really count in a crisis and looking after your team can go a long way towards securing your reputation as a ‘good’ employer.
With the current crisis changing the shape of business on a daily basis, we know that getting the right message across to the people who matter can be a daunting prospect.
If you need help with your communications strategy, get in touch today, email firstname.lastname@example.org.