Coronavirus: 5 crisis communication tips to observe
With the coronavirus outbreak, many events are being cancelled and a case may be reported among your staff. In crisis situations like this, communication strategies are more important than ever.
Here are 5 crisis communication tips to observe:
1. Establish or update your crisis communication plan
It is time to review your crisis communication plan and form a Covid-19 task force confirming:
- the chain of command
- the contact details of each one in the chain of command
- the spokesperson
- the contact details of the health department
2. Ensure the safety of your staff and stakeholders
The safety of your staff and stakeholders is your #1 priority.
Inform in a friendly manner about preventive measures: the importance of handwashing, distance and good hygiene to keep themselves and others safe. If an employee tests positive for the virus, tell the employees they have been in contact with that they have been exposed to the virus at work… but don’t reveal his/her name. Tell employees who have symptoms of respiratory/flue illness, they should not come to work and should stay home.
If employees or their immediate family members travel to a country under a travel advisory or have been in contact with someone who has, you should instruct them to stay home and self-quarantine for two weeks.
Communicate a specific point of contact for questions.
3. Prepare a Holding Statement
Prepare a holding statement and validate a process for further drafting and approval of statements.
4. Define guidelines for Corporate Travel, Events and Meetings
Discourage any essential travel, events and meetings.
5. Develop a work-from-home and HR action plan
Explore the rules to define if your employees need to work from home and communicate transparently with your employees to build trust.
A research conducted last year by PRNEWS and CS&A reavealed that a third of companies don’t have crisis plans and only half of those that do have them are up to date.
If you do not have a crisis communication plan prepared, contact us and we can help you draft one!