COVID-19: Prepare your Business Communications Plan

By March 15, 2020 COVID-19

If there are changes to your business operations, it will be important for the reputation of your business to maintain strong communications with your customers and stakeholders.

MRBTA member Janine Pittaway has share the following tips & thought starters to help businesses through the process of communicating issues and crisis responses:

    1. Who are the groups of people that matter to your business? Do they include staff, contractors, board members, guests, patrons, funding bodies, donors or sponsors, your suppliers, clients, potential clients, database, neighbours, tenants, friends and supporters of the business?
    2. What means of communication do you have for reaching them? Email, e-news, social media (Facebook page, groups, event pages, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter), website, phone, text, and face-to-face communications. Are your stakeholder databases up to date if you quickly need to reach out to them?
    3. What order should you communicate in – who needs to know first?
    4. What are you doing in preparedness for the potential impact on your business? Have you worked through each crisis scenario and are you clear on your responses to each?
    5. If you have a business or event requiring bookings, have you reviewed your cancellation policies and how are you planning to communicate them?
    6. You will probably not have all the answers to provide to your stakeholders, but it’s important to let them know you are actively monitoring advice from the Local, State and Federal Government and your industry bodies, and preparing for all scenarios and will keep them up to date as more information is available.
    7. Prepare key messages for each of the scenarios you are faced with. Be consistent across all of your communications. You may tweak the formality of the language depending on the communications medium you use, but keep your messaging consistent. Be clear about what email address and phone number people can contact you on in these communications.
    8. Share these key messages with your team – especially the front line team members – those who answer public enquiries on the phone, on email and on social media.
    9. Actively monitor your social media channels for messages and comments from the public – have responses prepared to likely questions you’ll be asked.

Please contact Janine Pittaway, Principal at Bright Communications for further information on the above, via +61(0)418911796 jpittaway@brightcommunications.com.au