How to reset your communication in times of crisis

When different kinds of crises impact your company, sector or the entire global economy, it’s not just your business operations that require quick decision-making in order to adjust to new realities. Both your internal and external communication – as well as your marketing – must be reviewed.

In times of crisis, your company can be severely affected, and you might feel like the entire business comes to a halt. Nobody questions that companies can be forced to cut costs to secure their survival. Letting employees go, reducing costs, and finding alternative ways to earn money are typical actions to ensure the company’s survival. At the same time, most companies don’t actually want to do these things. In a panicked situation, it’s easy to forget what these types of actions can do to your brand.

How you choose to act affects the brand

Most people know that all cutbacks are harmful and that the effects are multi-layered. For example, if a client terminates a contract, the supplier has to cut back on something from their supplier. The chain goes on, and it quickly becomes a negative spiral. If you are able to cut down parts of the contract rather than terminating it altogether, that is preferable since that would affect the supplier less.

In a situation where a contract needs to be terminated or paused temporarily, it can be appropriate to write how much you appreciate the service, products, or collaboration. It can also be good to clarify to your supplier whether it’s a temporary pause and if you intend to resume the contract once the crisis is over. Showing compassion for your suppliers and partners can also benefit your own company, as your actions affect the brand.

Benefiting from a crisis situation

During the Corona pandemic, many companies saw the chance to gain new business opportunities/clients. They saw the possibility of showing off their products and services or what they have to offer. But there is a danger in that as well; risking being seen as someone taking advantage of the situation when the world is in a state of crisis could easily ruin the entire brand.

In situations like these, it’s essential to think everything through properly so that you avoid ending up with a short-term strategy with negative long-term consequences. You obviously don’t want people to perceive your company as tone-deaf as a result of communication that seems ignorant of the ongoing crisis. At the same time, you want to continue communicating, so you don’t allow your competitors to take all the market shares.

If you instead act generously and helpfully, you have a lot to gain. Can you offer your services as part of the effort needed to help the crisis pass as soon as possible? Can you maybe even offer your services for free for a limited time? Sometimes, minor adjustments to an offer or a new perspective on your communication are all you need. Other times, an opportunity might arise to offer new digital services for a target group that has unexpectedly changed their behavior.

A golden opportunity to re-evaluate your brand

A crisis can also be a golden opportunity to re-evaluate your brand and communication. For example, if parts of your organization are put on pause, you can use the extra time on your hands to update your marketing plan and brand platform. You can also take the opportunity to work on other parts of your communication that haven’t been prioritized lately or work preemptively with creating a content plan and developing content that you plan to publish within the upcoming months. No matter how you choose to spend the time, it’s important to ensure that your communication efforts’ tonality works in an ongoing crisis. If you focus on strengthening your brand and adjusting your communication efforts according to the situation, your company can come out of the crisis stronger than ever.

Some advice along the way

  • Don’t stop communicating. Instead, adjust your tonality according to your new conditions.
  • Do a quick overview of your ongoing advertising and change the budget to whatever works best.
  • Be present and responsive in the channels where your customers are. A dialogue’s value increases in times of crisis.

Don’t be afraid to analyze properly

  • Is your company expected to do a greater societal contribution, or do people just want to see you continue to deliver as usual?
  • Is the demand lower, or have customers transitioned to a more digital buying process than previously?
  • What are the current conversations on social media in relation to your company?
  • Are your customers looking for the same thing today as they did before the crisis?

And as always, the most crucial part is not becoming paralyzed in a challenging situation. It’s better to do something small in the right direction than not act at all out of fear of doing something wrong.

Start where the effect is the greatest, with as small stakes as possible.

Do you need help along the way? Don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll help you out!

Curious to know more? Contact me.

Ann Gacek, Account Manager. Portrait.
Ann Gacek
Account Manager