Businesses across Asia are battling uncertainty caused by COVID-19, even as governments continue to respond to the situation. Crisis communications experts from PRecious Communications weigh in on how companies should address employees’ as well as customer’s concerns, and should they now shift their marketing focus and re-shape their content and messaging.
Lars Voedisch, Founder and Managing Director, PRecious Communications
Communications during crisis situations need to be swift. Singapore has witnessed a fair amount of white noise when it comes to addressing concerns given the rumours, speculation and fake news circulating. Businesses need to ensure that they share timely updates with their clients and employees using all available channels, and ensure that they only refer to official and trusted sources.
Customers have the right to go on with their lives. For brands, this means they need to be sensible about acknowledging the situation but not stop with their business strategies. However, organisations should be careful to not jump on the scarewagon for quick wins.
Ary Kim, Client Services Director, PRecious Communications
Communications planning and execution is an integral part of ensuring the effective and efficient implementation of an organization’s business continuity plan. In matters of public safety, their communications channels have to be put in place to accurately and timely relay need-to-know information to their external and internal audiences in order to contain the disruption, manage the exceptional circumstances, and ultimately restore their operations.
From a corporate communications standpoint, ‘practicing’ prior to an event is imperative: identifying possible scenarios, exercising outlined procedures and testing for any needed corrective actions. This allows the organization to nimbly respond as needed, manage and prioritize messages pertinent to the type of audience, and stay focused and aligned in restoring operations.
Clarence Lim, Client Services Director, PRecious Communications
Adaptability is a key attribute of start-ups: many founders started off with a strong idea and adapted along the way to grow into successful businesses. Situations like the coronavirus pandemic, or trade wars, or any other black swan events will always appear, and there will always be determined, resourceful founders who will adapt to the situation and opportunities as they come along.
However, any business communication must be genuine and clear: don’t force-fit a response to the situation for publicity’s sake, and, in today’s noisy media landscape, it is important to be open and clear with internal and external stakeholders.
Rajiv Menon, Client Services Director – PRecious Communications
Most technology brands typically have remits that transcend markets. At the current scale, the Covid-19 situation has an impact on technology spending. During this time, brands need to focus on pro-active, fact-based communications with all stakeholders – employees, customers and business partners. There is no need to broadcast internal communications externally unless there has been a scale down in operations or manufacturing, supply chains have been affected or offices need to be temporarily shut down. Messaging around business continuity plans, emergency preparedness and response, health and safety measures should be reinforced constantly.
The key is to find an optimal balance between transparency in communication and avoid unnecessary panic. In today’s digital times, trust in a brand is also based on content that people consume online and now is a good time for technology marketers to leverage all communication channels at their disposal to make information and updates as accessible as possible