For some, there’s no such thing as too much COVID-19 news. Daily updates are viewed as essential reading and live announcements prompt a ‘drop-everything’ response. For others, the flood of COVID-loaded materials entering their inboxes and swamping their screens has reached the point of overload. 

Organisations must strike the right balance between keeping their customers, partners and stakeholders informed and confident, without creating a culture of fear or worry. 

IMPACT has compiled our top five tips for communicating in these extraordinary times. 

Be real, be human 

Take a personal approach with communications during these challenging times. Messages and statements should come directly from the leadership team. Use profile photos and videos to show leaders are real people and choose formats such as Q&As, blogs and personal updates to inject personality and empathy into communications. 

Keep on the front foot 

If you change a service, product or are experiencing delays to normal operations, let your customers know upfront.  

According to our behavioural insights and behaviour change consultant, Kris White, frustrated customers are likely to be in a ‘hot state’ during these stressful times and are likely to behave impulsively with angry emails, furious phone calls and even contract or business cancelations.   

Share business updates directly with customers and across relevant social channels so they know what to expect. The more you communicate, the less time you will spend responding to frustrated customer emails and calls. 

Prioritise content  

Nothing seems quite as strange as switching on the TV and seeing an ad made for times when meeting with friends, family and colleagues in public spaces was the norm. That jarring feeling also applies to communications that no longer fit into our new social-distancing playbook. If you have pre-written content waiting to be shared, you’ll need to review it and ensure that the messages, call-to-action and themes are still relevant and nuanced. 

Make new connections 

If you haven’t explored the impact and value of digital mediums, now is a great time to forge new connections with your target audiences. Short videos, podcasts and webinars all offer great opportunities for organisations to engage directly with audiences.

Pick your platform    

For those working remotely, the quick commute from the breakfast table to the study has cut out mobile browsing time significantly. According to web advertising platform, Outbrain, desktop-based campaigns are currently outperforming mobile ones (wait, what?), so consider where, and how, you plan to invest in your direct campaigns.