Communicating during times of crisis

Communicating during times of crisis

Communicating during times of crisis

When faced with a crisis, businesses need to communicate appropriately and transparently. You must alert management, employees, stakeholders, customers, and all interested parties.

Ensure you communicate three critical pieces of information:

  1. What the crisis is
  2. How might the crisis affect the business
  3. What can be done to prevent and reduce the impact on all involved

Look after your business and your customers

In times of crisis, updates and notifications can be instrumental to emergency services, evacuation procedures, and the overall safety of the public.

Consider your message

Although you may have all the answers, communicating those answers sensitively and appropriately is crucial. Consider your audience and how to approach sensitive topics with care and empathy. Understand that depending on the issue at hand, particular information may be delicate, inappropriate, painful, or private.

Who are you talking to?

Consider the following audiences you may be talking to:

  • Internal staff members, contractors, and other employees
  • Stakeholders and those who have a vested interest in your business
  • Customers and loyal clients
  • The public and social media

When are you communicating?

It's essential to time your message solely to get as much reach as possible. If you are anticipating a crisis, try to get out ahead and prepare your audience. If a dilemma is currently occurring, what is there to do to stop it or reduce the impact? And if it has already happened, how can you mitigate the consequences and rebuild?

Crisis Notifications and Updates

Anticipating extreme conditions can keep the public safe and allow time to save lives. With today's technology, we can predict almost anything up to a certain extent, but preparation and execution are always something to consider. SMS reaches where the internet cannot — this is a crucial characteristic that cannot be overlooked in dire situations.

Emergency Alerts

Time-sensitive warnings and evacuation alerts are of high priority. Communicating these updates should be focused on getting to the recipient as fast as possible, especially in the case of an emergency. Evacuations occur for several reasons, including natural disasters, extreme weather, military threats, shootings, pandemics, and chemical spills. These are often time-sensitive and depend on efficient communication to evacuate all people quickly and safely. SMS plays a vital role in the communication strategy of emergency services during these times.

SMS communication during COVID-19 pandemic uncertainty

Government Agencies

Amid a pandemic, the public must know where to gain access to critical information and it's the government's responsibility to provide the most recent and accurate information to the public without causing panic.

In the USA, Memora Health and Ro are offering a service by which an AI chatbot is available to answer all your Coronavirus COVID-19 questions and concerns over SMS. Although it is still troubleshooting and can be clunky at times, the service is completely free for users. To ensure all information passed on is factual and up to date, the automated software is programmed with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Questions might include:

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19?

Do I need to wear a face mask?

What measures can I take to prevent infection?

Healthcare

During this time, healthcare all over the world is in high demand and, if communication and resources are not handled efficiently, it could mean serious consequences. With the Coronavirus COVID-19 being reported as a pandemic and many places globally in a state of emergency, communication is of the utmost importance. An example of how communication is easing the medical system includes how Western Australia is handling texting results; those who tested negative for Coronavirus COVID-19 are notified via SMS.

Medical centers testing for Coronavirus COVID-19 have strict protocols to follow, and patients need to be aware of and adhere to them. Appointment cancellations need to be implemented in advance as they free up time slots in which other patients can be seen. Studies show that the use of text message reminders reduced Did Not Attend patients by 25% in medical practices.

News Outlets

Opt-in for local, national, and global updates on trending topics. With the devastation and panic caused by Coronavirus COVID-19, it's essential to know what is going on. Europe was recently named the hotbed of the virus, after the outbreak in China affected tens of thousands of people.

Keeping up to date with news, effective prevention measures, and knowing what to do if infected is vital to minimizing overall impact. Local government and healthcare initiatives are utilizing their communication channels to update locals on what do to do in their area.

Social Distancing

Physical interaction and presence are the most common way to show affection to loved ones, but during a public health crisis, it is highly recommended to keep your distance.

Video calls, texting, and phone calls are simple ways to interact with loved ones without the risk, even if you want to be by their side or catch up over dinner.