Communicating Through a COVID-19 Crisis (including practical ideas for different businesses)

covid-19-crisis-communications

During the COVID-19 crisis, more than ever, there is a strong need to communicate appropriately, regularly and in a timely manner. This may mean placing prominent updates on your website, posting a carefully crafted news item on your blog, preparing and issuing an email out to your database and/or social media posts.

So how can we help you WITH COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS?

– COVID-19 Crisis communication – we are currently working with many of our clients on crisis communication strategies and have many years experience in this work. This could be as simple as a scheduled phone call to discuss what communications you plan to put out, have put out, or should put out. In many cases a simple social media post will not be sufficient. See below for a recent case study. If you’d like to chat, book a time here.

– Adjusted social media content and posting schedules – If we are already working with you on your social media content, it may be that we have prepared, had approved and scheduled content which may now not be appropriate. For instance if posts were promoting community events which have since been called off. We are happy to cancel or postpone any posts which are no longer appropriate at no cost to you. Should you require new posts to be created and scheduled in their place, please contact us and we will provide a discounted rate for these services due to these exceptional circumstances.

– Commence COVID-19  social media content development and posts – If your in-house team is overwhelmed with urgent tasks and would like support in the development of some or all of your social media content, see our social media packages here: www.thecreativecollective.com.au/social-media-management

– Social media training – If you are feeling out of your depth or if your in-house team who would normally perform marketing tasks are off due to illness, caring or focussing on other business operation areas, alternative staff may now be performing tasks unfamiliar to them and require training.  We can offer online consults/training at short notice to educate broadly, or on specific issues you may be facing, drawing on our many years of marketing experience and intimate knowledge of most marketing and social media channels. See our training options here. 

LIVE CASE STUDY OF HOW COVID-19 CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS CAN HELP 

An existing client with a chain of food stores contacted us this week to draft a generic social media post for their social channels. We advised against a generic post which would be just more unnecessary noise in a busy feed of virus and economic impact related posts. 

We asked to speak with management and understand how business operations have been adjusted to ensure customer health and safety. We also asked about products and services which may be more of interest to their customers at this time, and discovered that some stores had Drive Thru, some offered Uber Eats, some products and accessories could be ordered online, and their food could also be ordered via phone and brought out to the car park. 

This helped us shape a more relevant and timely message to the client’s social channels than yet another generic social post. We also advised on distribution of this message, and the need to boost the message to ensure it’s visibility and what sort of budget would be required here. 

With a well prepared communication we are confident of this clients ability to distribute a timely and relevant message which may even generate sales given they are well prepared to assist people who are observing self-isolation at this time.

QUESTIONS WE ARE ASKING OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CLIENTS (AND QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF) DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS

  • Does the frequency of the posts need to change? Increase/decrease based on what you do and how you are affected by this crisis?
  • Does the nature of the content need to change? i.e. videos from CEO/staff on changing work place/stock levels instead of planned content (this could be just the push you need to do more video content anyway)
  • Go lives – do you know how to do a ‘go live’ on your social channels if there is an urgent situation and you need to communicate i.e. someone in their store contract COVID and they need to close down?
  • Does the scheduling plan need to change in any way i.e. increase how far ahead so is sorted e and they can focus on other higher priority business tasks, OR do they wish to schedule LESS far out so they can be more agile
  • Do you foresee the need for any urgent/revised posts? Please review the schedule and we will make one extra round of changes at no charge this month given circumstances. If so call us or SMS us to alert us to an urgent out of the ordinary request post.
  • Does the nature of the posts we plan to boost need to change i.e. may have been a funny or a sale, now may need to be a crisis communication.
  • Is what you can offer clients different in a crisis i.e. do you sell anything online? Can you offer care packs/hamper packs? Prioritise pushing these items?
  • Are you doing anything to support the community i.e. small business, medical staff, schools etc at this difficult time? Consider doing this ie. free round of coffees to a local medical practice to show your support and take photos and videos and give it to us so we can share this on your channels!

OPERATIONAL & CONTENT IDEAS DURING THE CO-VID CRISIS

GENERIC MESSAGES FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES

  • We are a local business, employing local staff (we need your support at this time visit us!)
  • If you are displaying flu like symptoms, please do not come and visit us!
  • We are taking extra hygiene measures – outline how

EXAMPLE: Hotel group with day spa in-house

  • How spa is still open and extra hygiene measures are in place and you may need some time out to destress more than ever or buy a gift for someone in need
  • Discounts for locals dining in
  • Explain your take out options
  • If you are with Uber eats or Deliveroo, tell us so we can communicate this
  • If you offer hampers to take away and enjoy away from the crowd
  • Any healthy green smoothies or soups you may wish to push out for people wanting to boost immunity etc. 
  • Offering a place to stay at a discounted rate due to people being grounded due to flights

EXAMPLE: Restaurant chain with some drive thru stores & Uber Eats

  • How chain is still open and extra hygiene measures are in place – takeaway only cups, plates and cutlery; no self serve water station, all staff wearing single use gloves, not accepting cash etc etc
  • Buy our coffee online if you are observing self isolation
  • Can’t get food at the supermarkets? Drive thru or call ahead and we can bring your order out to car park if you are running short on time

Got more ideas? We’d love to hear them and add them to our list!

We are here to help you through this difficult time and we appreciate your continued support during this time, and hope that as a community we can come together respectfully, calmly and kindly.

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