When a crisis hits, the media frenzy soon follows. You have things that you want to say to your audience. But how do you get your voice heard among the noise?
We have already discussed the importance of resisting kneejerk communications with our tips for creating an intelligent crisis comms strategy. We have advised you on how to keep your customers engaged with your brand when you are unable to sell your product or service.
But those tips won’t count for a lot if you are unsure of how to get your message heard in the first place.
Here are a few things you should consider.
It will be hard to secure media space
It’s hard to secure media space when the majority of column inches are taken up with news during a crisis. The possible exception is if your product or service relates directly to the public/media discussion. Even then, a crisis is not the time to sell. Instead it’s an opportunity to show how your brand is helping. Put the community before your company. People before profits.
Stick to your own channels – and go social
When media space is hard to find, it’s best to stick to your own channels. And your social channels will usually offer the path of least resistance to your audience. When news is travelling fast and things are changing quickly, social media allows you to be as reactive as you need to be. (Note: reactive comms doesn’t mean panicked, kneejerk comms. Every message must be carefully considered.) Maximise the use of your social channels.
Don’t underestimate the value of human connection during a crisis. There’s something relatable and reassuring about seeing the person or people behind the brand. It’s also easier to show your authenticity and inspire confidence in your brand.
You don’t need to worry about Hollywood production values when you have a smartphone in your pocket. When timely and accurate communication is everything, people will place clarity and connection over quality. It’s about delivering the right message, at the right time with an element of human compassion.
Collaborate and pivot
As we have covered, sometimes during a crisis the community response is more important than your company profits. Perhaps by collaborating with another business you can develop a product or service that helps a relief effort.
Doing so can expose you to new audiences and help you to build your brand reputation. That – of course – is secondary to the work you are doing to support your community. But it’s important to consider a strategy for how you will engage with the new audiences your efforts will expose you to.
Let us help you?
During a crisis it’s easy for a business to fall into panic mode. If you would like more advice on how your brand can communicate in a crisis, please call us. We are experts in crisis comms and would be happy to provide you with some tips that are specific to your business and industry.