Branding and Coronavirus Pandemic Panic
These are unprecedented, strange, and unsettling times. There is no guidebook for what we are facing in our communities, businesses, and the world.
Obviously, the first priority is to make sure that everyone who is at-risk is kept safe by following healthcare recommendations. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and if you are showing any symptoms, stay home and away from others.
After the impact to an individual’s physical health as well as the healthcare system, the next biggest impact will be on our economy and our businesses.
How does a business manage in this time of pandemic and panic?
Most businesses don’t have a crisis communication plan for a situation like this, but the standard rules apply.
1-Be transparent. Businesses need to be honest, clear, and transparent about what is going on. If you are a restaurant, be clear about your cleaning procedures, new hours, and transition to curbside service.
2-Be Understanding. People are scared. Employees will need to work from home to handle childcare with schools closing. Your customers are suffering. Find ways to help out and be a part of the solution.
3-Be Prepared. The one thing we know for sure is that this will impact us for a while, so we need to adjust accordingly.
Personally, one of the first things I recommend will be to limit your exposure to uninformed sources. The panic is even more contagious than the virus. Only research scientific, fact-based information, and only repeat scientific, fact-based information. There has been a run on toilet paper because people thought there was going to be a run on toilet paper.
When it comes to social media, we all need to focus on the positive, not the political. There has been quite a bit of politicizing from both sides – as there often is. Rather than getting sucked into the politics, focus your posts and your responses on positive messages. The human spirit is innately loving, supportive, and caring. Let that be what we all focus on during this very trying time. Fewer judgments. Less “what ifs”. Less “doom and gloom”.
We can all get through this together if we all work together.
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