COVID-19…The crisis that just won’t go away.
Most businesses and nonprofits have endured through the first sprint of this pandemic by utilizing their newly created crisis task force, dusting off their existing crisis plans or cobbling-together various crisis mitigation actions. They are surviving weeks 1-3 of the COVID-19 crisis.
But Wait, There’s More…Much More.
Although the first phase of this never-seen-before crisis was a fast dash to cull resources, develop strategies, gather teams and make very hard decisions, this “crisis sprint” is now becoming a marathon with an ever-changing finish line. President Trump predicted at first that businesses were going to start getting back to normal by Easter 2020. Now that the date has moved to late April, and perhaps further, businesses are faced with a longer haul to contemplate.
From Sprint to Marathon
As crisis management specialists, ReputationUs often prepares and handles crisis sprints for partner clients. That is, we’re brought into an organization to plan for likely crisis scenarios, prepare the company through simulated trainings and immediately support the crisis response that typically last no more than a couple of days or weeks, including major cyberattacks.
This COVID-19 crisis has now put us in a position to support clients during a seldom used marathon crisis scenario. While most crises require a quick action plan, a marathon crisis plan requires stamina, patience and agility to move quickly as situations develop. The good news is that we’ve been here before. Different types of crises, but the framework is the same.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, RepUs will post “mile markers” that will offer valuable observations, considerations and a roadmap to what businesses and nonprofits should consider during this crisis marathon. We’re of course available for any immediate counsel, but offer these mile markers to keep you moving.
Today’s Mile Marker Tip is “Reassurance and Direction.”
Your board, managers, customers, industry and the community you serve need to hear from you, OFTEN! They need reassurance that your company or nonprofit is prepared for the long run. Outstanding questions that need to be posed internally with answers communicated accordingly include:
- What are you planning to do next?
- Why did you make these decisions?
- What does the next week, month look like?
- What can they (each audience) do in the short-term?
- What changes have been made?
- When can they expect further communication and direction?
Also anticipate questions from each of your audiences that will likely be broached and how you plan to address each, while determining how (what channel) you will communicate. TIP: Developing either an ongoing Q&A format or video message is a valuable and effective way to get the messages out quickly.
Next Mile Marker coming soon.
Keep your distance (social, that is)…and pace yourself for the moving finish line.