“Closed until further notice,” read a sign in my town – a local restaurant. Although it’s clear that the spread of COVID-19 has companies in dire straits and scared for the future, I was surprised that reading this sign left me feeling panicked and rather hopeless about the future. It felt like an apocalyptic message, even though that may be the reality we are currently living under.
Across town, a different sign read, “Closed Doors – Open Hearts – Stay Safe – See You Soon.”
Another read, “We miss you and we’ll be back together soon.”
A third read, “We are all in this together, even from afar.”
These signs are excellent examples of communicating with hope during times of uncertainty. They left my heart feeling a bit warmer, strengthened my connection to these businesses and my greater community, and helped me feel like we really are all in this together. They communicated their message clearly, but more importantly, they made it possible to imagine a better future.
Properly communicating during times of crisis is paramount for brands that have already earned the trust of their consumers during normal times. During this COVID-19 crisis, spreading true messages of safety and hope can go a long way.
When the public mood changes, like in times of disaster or crisis, it’s more important than ever for brands to stay hypersensitive and watch how they communicate. There are several considerations when deciding what types of statements to make:
- Does the statement help or hurt the consumer? Can it be seen as insensitive or hopeless?
- Where does your brand sit in the larger conversation?
- Are there steps you’re taking to help your employees or consumers in difficult times?
- Have your business hours or products been impacted? If so, how?
When drafting statements, read the room carefully:
- Check all scheduled social media posts to make sure your content doesn’t come off as trivial or insensitive of tragedies
- Maintain community and bring hope to your consumers with uplifting, helpful statements
- Realize now is not the time to try and push products or announcements unless they truly help people during hard times
- Where budgets allow, consider increasing philanthropy to affected populations
- Use major hashtags to raise online visibility and share your messages in the right channels
We will get through these difficult times, and perhaps the one positive we can take away from this crisis is that brands have a unique opportunity to shape the narrative and help people find hope and community. It’s truly time to “walk your talk” and show your consumers how you care.
If you’d like assistance for your brand in crafting hopeful messages to communicate with your consumers and partners during these uncertain times, contact NisonCo today. We are experienced in communicating during times of crisis and we are here to help you through this.