Tips on Business Communication During Times of Crisis

By: Jennefer Witter

A communications plan in a time of crisis is critical for businesses. Communicating with your internal and external audiences will provide stability, calm uncertainty, and keep your business moving forward as smoothly as possible. Here are six tips for business owners to consider.

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1) Take the time to create carefully crafted messaging.

One size may not necessarily fit all, so tweaks may be needed to ensure that the content is clearly and succinctly relayed to the targeted audience in language that will best resonate with them.

2) Assign two communications czars.

One to deal with the staff, the other with your external audience, such as clients, media, or suppliers. Both groups have different needs, and ought to be addressed separately.

In addition to working together, the czars should have direct and unfettered access to the chief executive. Now is not the time for red tape.

3) Watch your message.

Have all communications-related materials, whether it’s an employee letter or e-mail message, go through the czars to ensure the correct tone of voice and that the messaging — regardless of the audience or communication tool — is on point.

Store all crisis-related documents in the cloud for easy retrievals and/or reference purposes.

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4) Have department heads act as on-the-ground communication evangelists.

Depending on the complexity and/or size of the audience, the czars may not be able to address each group individually. Having back-up will allow for a continuous flow of coordinated communication.

5) Stay organized.

This may sound basic, but make sure there is a comprehensive contact sheet that lists names, areas of responsibility, cell numbers, and e-mail addresses of key individuals in one handy document.

6) Monitor your social media.

You don’t want incorrect information going out that will muddle the situation.

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Jennefer Witter is the CEO/Founder of The Boreland Group Inc., a seventeen year old public relations agency headquartered in New York City. She is an active and devoted Ellevate member.

Originally published at

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