Muddled thinking leads to muddled communications.

As Covid-19 rapidly becomes a global crisis of unprecedented proportions, we are taking a look at the services that companies are asking of their PR agencies.

What is emerging is that companies are relying on their agencies to “help them figure out the landscape”. That seems to be meaning gleaning intelligence in terms of what other companies are saying and doing, supporting the new realities of management and planning, and — without doubt and not to understate — understanding the sensitive complexities of the communications while friends and family are in peril both internal and external.

There are tree golden rules — be clear who to call, what to do and what to say before you need to.

Plus 3 Steps:

Step One – focused on communications to various stakeholders around the virus situation itself.

Step Two – is based on your scenario and business continuity planning and the message you need to convey to assure all stakeholders you have a course of actions to take and are doing so. As with all comms activity it is impossible to communicate clearly and effectively without precise policies and business strategies to communicate about. Plans should be lean, light and simple to use. It’s frankly impossible for any plan to answer all the questions, but getting everyone aligned in the early stages means you have a better chance of emerging OK. The Bottom line: in a crisis, people need leadership, no matter how difficult it may be at the time.

Also we are working with clients on scenario planning to address potential revenue impacts and thinking through how this affects all aspects of a company and what will need to be communicated, and when.

It is critical to determine ways a business can help their customers through this period and how to communicate this message to them.

We are assisting from CEO/management communications to customers, individual employees and suppliers in fact to all stakeholders and interested parties.

Step3 – It is hard but a large part of the work you should be involved in now is forward thinking and trying to work out the where we all will be in the future when we come out of this and planning for this in detailed communications scenarios.

Businesses will have to navigate through very different and tough times: we are helping clients think through the likely communications challenges that they may well face and planning for them and helping them write their responses.