Demand is increasing
The communications departments and agencies of companies are currently facing special challenges. The German newswire News Aktuell has investigated how Corona affects communication. The study revealed that in March the number of press releases distributed rose by 16 percent. 28 percent of them dealt with Corona. What needs to be considered in corporate communications in the age of Covid-19?
In times of Corona, communication is more dynamic and sensitive than usual. Ultimately, you are permanently in crisis communication mode. This requires tact and diplomatic skills. Communication succeeds best when management and the communications department work closely together on a daily basis.
At the beginning of the crisis, for example, it was important to communicate that there were strict internal rules of conduct, what measures had been taken to contain the crisis, and how to cooperate with employees, business partners and authorities. In the meantime, the “get the engine started again” in the company plays a major role.
As the situation changes almost daily, it is important to date each message so that recipients can see at which stage of the corona development the company has made what statements. This also applies to news on their own website: not only indicate the month, as is common in many places, but also the day.
Press releases must be checked against the background of Covid-19 to see if they are appropriate in terms of content. Since there seem to be hardly any other topics besides the Corona crisis, normal company messages and product information reach the target groups more difficult. PR and marketing are not easy, but at the same time they are more important than ever – and an opportunity to link your own messages and information with Corona in a positive way if possible.
Internal communication is particularly important, tact is required
Internal communication in particular plays a prominent role in an exceptional situation like this. Nothing is more damaging to trust than when employees first learn about what is going on in their company through the media and what measures it intends to take.
It is important for companies to let employees, customers, suppliers and the public know how they intend to cope with the crisis. Credibility and honesty play an overriding role here. It makes no sense to pretend that everything is fine. It is about demonstrating how to master the crisis in concrete terms. That creates trust.
Internal communication works more easily in companies where employees sit at their desks in front of computers. In manufacturing companies this is much more difficult. The classic analog means of posting is a way of keeping everyone up to date. Staff meetings can also make sense to ensure that all employees are informed at the same time. In a second step, customers and suppliers must be informed. Only then will the media be informed.
news aktuell: Corona-Krise erhöht externen Kommunikationsbedarf