What Did You Say? I Didn’t Hear You!

by | Apr 17, 2020 | Crisis Management Communications


It’s the end of another week and that means it’s time for my weekly installment of #CrisisCommunication and I made it just in the knick of time!

It is worth noting that great leaders follow the same path whether they are leading through a crisis or not. Check out this week’s article on how to communicate and lead your company through any crisis or unstable time.

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According to Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin, comprehension lowers by 80% in times of crisis AND people’s attention spans lower to 15-minute increments. That means that leaders need to not only be clear and concise in times of crisis, but they also need to repeat themselves to ensure that they are able to reach their audience. If there is nothing else that you take away from today’s #CrisisCommunication article is that a leader needs to REPEAT. REPEAT. REPEAT in times of change and transition.

And, following are some other quick tips to help with your frequent communications at this uncertain time:

1) Stay true to your principles

– Repeat your vision CLEARLY in each communication.

– Give context as to how the actions of your team and employees fit into the vision to help them understand how they impact the company.

– Continue to provide people with direction – remember they are struggling to adjust and to absorb. They are looking to you to help lead them and lighten their load.

2) Do what you can to help

– Adapt your marketing message during a crisis to stay connected with your community. For example, send encouragement to your network instead of asking them for money or provide opportunities for your partners to come together to volunteer or donate, etc.

– Shift your focus to helping the world overcome the crisis vs. helping your company make unattainable profits.

– Provide a designated amount of free product or pro bono services to those in need, if possible.

3) Be transparent

– Separate fact from opinion

– Share what you know and what you are working on. No one is expected to know everything, but you are expected to be honest.

– The more knowledge people have, the safer they feel. When people feel that you are hiding information; insecurity follows.

4) Have patience

– Keep consistency and routine wherever possible to help make people feel more comfortable and ease them through the transition.

– Change is hard to process. Allow time for people to absorb what is happening and adjust to find their footing.

Stay tuned for another article next week. Please send me a note for any questions, I am enjoying the conversations!

Let me know if you need any help with your company’s crisis communications or change management actions through this uncertain time. I am here to help!

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