Think Before You Speak
Written by Caroline Heywood - May 2020
‘Think before you speak’ is a phrase that was drummed into me by my father from a young age, though I suspect he would say rather unsuccessfully during those formative years.
Now, as we collectively struggle through what is likely to be the most profound experience of our entire lives, communication, more than ever, has a central role to play in how well we survive, both personally and professionally. Taking time out to think about what, how and why we should speak is as important as ever.
In advising our clients on their communications for their business and brands in recent months, I have been guided by these fundamental beliefs:
Be true – now is the time that your business and brand values will be tested – be true to them, believe in them and ensure that your communications are driven by them. In our case, our values are passion, courage and smart and never before have I felt they fit so well with our business. These values are what we live by and what have helped us navigate the last few months and will certainly continue to steer us in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Be honest in your communication – whether you’re talking to your employees or consumers, now more than ever, honesty and transparency are crucial. Your audiences are looking for reassurance and confidence, you need to provide it in large doses.
Be relevant to your community – it’s worth repeating – this is likely to be the most significant experience we’ll ever have in our lives, for those of us under 80 anyway. Now is not a time for selling but for supporting your community – put their needs at the heart of your communications. That may mean being creative in terms of advertising, social media and news stories. And make sure it’s not all about Covid-19, there is so much more to be said and talked about.
Be there – ensure your comms are regular – now more than ever communities are looking for guidance, relief and support. Walk with them through their journey. The businesses and brands that are consistently engaging, are those we’ll keep returning to and relying on.
Safe safe, stay well, stay relevant.