Marketers continue to face numerous challenges from the impact of COVID-19. Below is a checklist for communication professionals to keep in mind as they develop their COVID-19 communications plan and navigate these uncertain times. Two suggestions for practical application are provided, along with a sample FAQ.

This blog article is curated from the best practices at companies ranging from Delta Air Lines and Hilton to Steelcase and Mannington Commercial.  Along with our own 20-plus years of experience, we’ve pulled insight from articles at PR News, PRSA and the American Marketing Association.

 

CHECKLIST 

☐  Protecting Your Employees and Customers

Have you described the steps you are taking to protect the health and safety of your employees and customers?  Be highly detailed.

☐  What’s Changed for Your Customers

Have you described what products or services have been affected or how you’ve changed operationally?  Be as transparent as possible.

☐  Planning for the Short-Term & Long-Term

Are you communicating how you’re adapting to the short-term challenges? Are you prepared to communicate what you’ll be doing when the crisis ends?  Be thinking ahead.

☐ Resources Available

Do your customers know what resources are available to them as they navigate the new remote workplace?  Ensure the resources are the most relevant and timely.

☐  Experts Available for Commentary

Do you have company experts ready and available to answer media questions about your organization should they arise? List these experts and have them prepared.

☐  Contributing or Giving Back

Are you contributing products or services to healthcare providers, the local community, or others in need?  Let stakeholders know how you’re building community.

☐  Sensitivity & Empathy

Are you displaying sensitivity in all your marketing and employee communications?  Continually assess your social media calendars and planned mar-com initiatives.

 

SUGGESTION FOR APPLICATION

☐  COVID-19 Information Web Page and/or Fact Sheet

A fast and cost-effective solution is to create a central web page or Fact Sheet where information can be shared and updated frequently.  Content can include:

✓ Letter from CEO

✓Customer FAQ

✓List of Resources Available

✓How You’re Helping Your Communities

✓Key Contact Information

✓List of Social Media Icons

✓Additional Resources and Links to:

            • Government and non-government resources
            • Industry partners

SAMPLE FAQ

A FAQ is an easy way for customers and employees to quickly see key points of information. Below are sample questions you can consider posting on your COVID-19 Update webpage or Fact Sheet.  Be sure to add links to the resources and information you’re providing.  Add more questions as needed.

Additionally, these are the kind of questions your organization could receive from a member of the media.  Therefore, your ability to answer these questions serves multiple purposes.

Q.  What steps have been taken to protect the health and safety of customers and employees?

Q.  What’s changed operationally with your business?

Q.  Has product availability or shipping been impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Q.  Have any services, such as Customer Support, been affected?

Q.  What resources are available to me as I work from home these days? 

Q.  What is the easiest way to get in touch with you?

Q.  Are you actively involved in supporting healthcare workers or first-responders?

Q.  What is the best way to stay up-to-date with the changes taking place?

 

The Checklist is available in PDF format for download by clicking here.

We hope you find this helpful. We also hope everyone is practicing the coronavirus safety steps as outlined by the CDC to remain safe and healthy.

Please contact us if we can be of more assistance at 404-270-1010 or at matts@spauldingcommunications.com

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