How organisations and brands have behaved during Covid-19 will be remembered
Written by Jim Walsh - May 2020
Now that countries are beginning to relax restrictions, it is time for organisations to seriously consider returning to providing the products or services they did before Covid-19 hit.
Last Friday the Irish government announced a roadmap for lifting restrictions over the next three and a half months.
This has at last provided a degree of certainty welcomed by organisations of every kind, as well as the public in general. There is a provision, that the virus continues to abate.
Research published at the weekend shows that the Irish public has been supportive of the government approach, which has been driven almost exclusively by advice from the medical experts. From a corporate and brand perspective the question now is how to organise a smooth return to business as usual. As important as the planning of production, logistics and HR issues will be, communications with customers will also be hugely important.
A key area that needs to be considered is how customers perceived the organisation’s actions during the restrictions. If it was an essential service, how did it behave and if the organisation was partially or completely closed, how did it seek to adapt its product or service, and how well did it stay in touch with its key audiences? That behaviour will be recognised by those audiences and it will be crucial that communication with them reflects any concern shown or help provided.
Clearly strong communication with staff and the local community will be a priority as many organisations struggle with financial and staffing issues. A lack of income and an increased emphasis on health and safety issues among staff will predominate for some time. Those organisations who have a strong CSR programme will be well positioned to use that programme.
Organisations who have not had CSR as part of their communications and business strategy should seriously embrace it.
It is often the case that an accident or other disaster becomes a crisis because of the way it is handled or mishandled. This invariably is the way communication is addressed and often the prior reputation of the organisation involved.
Organisations that behaved well and maintained communication with their audiences during Covid-19 will find that they have a head start when the crisis is over.
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