In six days, the effect of COVID-19 on small businesses rose from 60% to over 80% in the US. These numbers are based on 60,000 business members who have taken the Weekly Impact Poll.
As you know, the fast-moving and unknown variables of an outbreak like COVID-19 have a wave effect. I am incredibly encouraged by the acts of business creativity, team- spirit, solidarity and support emerging from every sector of the business community, from retailers, manufacturers to the service industry, including our nonprofits.
Businesses are rethinking the way they serve customers in order to endure. Small and large companies are developing their communication contingency plans quickly. Some are adapting existing communication plans to handle this outbreak, while others are starting from scratch.
The still-evolving landscape of the disruption and the lack of hard data for your organization will continue to evolve. Communication through continued outreach is one of the keys to your organization’s future achievements. Reflect on learning or on honoring what was once. But do not get stuck there. There is no better moment in time than the present because now is all we have. The future of any business is promised to no one.
THE PLAN: WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT
A New Crisis Communication Plan for branded content is not dissimilar to your very first Business Plan that perhaps you and your CPA presented to your prospective Banker. It projects possible outcomes and is a written description of your business’s future. Like that business plan, it can make or break a small business. It forces you to think through the validity of your business idea and numerous possible scenarios. It was your roadmap through the eye of your very own crystal ball. As Stephen Covey states, “Begin with the end in mind.” It provides the strategies you intend to implement to achieve the possible stated targets.
COMMUNICATION SCENARIOS FOR THIS DIFFICULT TIME
- Develop incident management and communication scenario plans that are specific to this crisis.
- Focus on factually and effectively communicating with your stakeholders.
- Plan on how you need to meet the government mandates in individual markets that you serve and minimize the risk of business disruptions and communicate those plans on an ongoing basis.
- Be proactive rather than reactive in your communication.
- Consider accelerating social, digital brand transformations as the shift to remote working reveals internal and external communication has altered how your organization is now perceived.
- Take the pulse of your market, thinking through longer-term communication considerations around shifts in your core markets or your business model as a result of the outbreak.
As business leaders, what this means is starting each day with purpose. Communicate to your team to create a discipline for themselves and to stop worrying about what they cannot influence and focus on what they can. When you are taking control of what you do and when you do it, you are in a proactive business stance. It means taking ownership of your organization. To work for things to happen. To focus on what communication is and why it is essential. To create a manifest destiny and move forward.
An agile and robust business communication plan will build healthy relationships through transparency and trust.
WHAT ARE THE QUESTIONS AND WHERE ARE THE ANSWERS?
The questions you may want to ask yourself and your team are: What data is essential to know. Where are there communication and marketing content gaps that need to be filled? How can we as a group target and effectively communicate this to clients, customers and other stakeholders we serve? By developing a positive thinking strategy and business communication, you will be far ahead of those who do not.
Reliable data underpins both crisis communication planning and affected social response. It’s essential that your crisis plan outlines how the information will flow to your stakeholders and that everyone has confidence in its veracity. Reliable data also reinforces a central element of crisis communication planning.
Undoubtedly this new communication plan will assist you in developing and delivering your organization’s messaging internally and externally. During these times, businesses reach out to media professionals to find answers. We at Multimedia Marketing Group are here to help your business. If you need help finding your ‘true north’ we are here for you, contact Mr. Arco here for any questions: LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/
President, Multimedia Marketing Group Distinguished 20+ year career introducing Marketing strategies to drive growth within intensively competitive markets, an expert in creating the vision, identifying opportunities, creating high-quality products and services, delivering strong revenues and profits, and positioning start-up and existing businesses for sustainable growth. LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/