Best Practices for Communicating COVID-19 (+ Free Cheat Sheet)
This isn’t the first time humans have faced a pandemic.
Fortunately, many smart people have spent many years putting together best practices on how to communicate to the public. We’ve pulled together their recommendations into these quick tips that you can share with your team.
Think of this as your communication playbook , suitable for marketers, communication professionals, and leaders of all kinds:
Be consistent : During times of pandemic, message work best when they are consistent and coherent.
Go public quickly : Even if you have incomplete information. Adjust as things change. Be agile.
Don’t wait for the press release . Try to get it out as soon as you can, as best you can.
Be honest : Say what you know, what you don’t know, and what you’re doing.
No BS: Be easily understood, complete, and free from deceit.
Be clear. Eliminate jargon. Use plain, simple language. Be accessible to a non-technical audience.
Be calm. Resist the urge to say “Don’t panic” or “Stay calm.” Instead, BE reassuring and BE calm.
Be flexible: Explain that the information may change when you know more.
Be careful . Avoid being confident with tenuous information.
Speak to the fear: Recognize that people will be frightened. Put these fears into words, then address them openly, regardless of how unfounded or unscientific the fears may seem.
LISTEN: Talk with your target audience. Talk with their key opinion leaders about what they’re hearing in the community. Keep your ear to the ground and your finger on the pulse.
Keep talking. Then communicate, again and again. Promise timely, regular updates. Then deliver.
How We’re Helping
Free consultations: We have so many client requests on their content efforts during this time that we are giving free consultations on the “risk level” of COVID-19 to your business, and how to best communicate across your blog, email, and social. Please contact your Media Shower editor directly, or Contact Us .
Resource pages: Many of our clients, in turn, are setting up COVID-19 resource pages that explain what they’re doing, what customers can expect, and how they can help. We’re helping put together a content strategy for this, and are working hard to update our CoCo (Coronavirus Communication) website with those best practices.
Leading the communication: We are actively developing communication resources for those of you in business, education, healthcare, government, and faith-based organizations. These are in progress on our CoCo website ; expect to see them going live in the next few days.
5 Business Best Practices During the Coronacrisis:
> Strive for “business as usual” even though business is unusual.
> Stay busy, stay focused, stay productive. (This too shall pass.)
> Do the best you can with what you have. Solve problems creatively.
> Consider daily “scrums” where you meet with team members via Zoom for morning check-ins.
> Spend 10% of your time helping others.