How to communicate in a crisis?
Since the sudden arrival of the coronavirus in 2020, companies have quickly realized that they must be able to anticipate, react and adapt to all types of situations. This allows them to thrive and even survive.
But the question is: how to communicate in a crisis? Indeed, communication is essential in times of crisis. Just as it is essential to be proactive to show your seriousness as well as your control of the situation.
What is a crisis situation?
Before starting this article, it is important to remember the definition of a crisis . Based on the one found in Larousse, it is possible to read “Rupture of balance between production and consumption, characterized by a weakening of demand, bankruptcies and unemployment. »
We could also give it the following definition: “any event which occurs suddenly, causing a destabilization of an organization and which is accompanied by a strong emotional charge causing this organization to lose its bearings. »
To put it simply, a crisis is an event that can lead to the vulnerability of your company. This is what we experienced with Covid-19 in 2020.
Successful communication in a crisis situation
Successful communication in a crisis situation is essential. To do so, it is important to prepare it in advance. Indeed, if you want to avoid disaster, you must be prepared and not give in to panic and fear. Communicators must develop a crisis communication strategy in line with the intensity of the crisis.
In a crisis situation , you need to speak up at two times.
- Throughout the crisis: from beginning to end, it is important to inform the various actors around you about the situation and to reassure them.
- Once the crisis is over: in order to be able to turn the page, a briefing is necessary. Now is the time to list the consequences of the crisis, the benefits coming in and the lessons learned from this ordeal.
A crisis communication plan has over time become a priority for many brands and businesses. Regardless of the sector, keep in mind that no business is crisis proof.
To succeed in communicating in a crisis situation, you must work to restore your company’s trust and brand image. For this, you will have to:
- Anticipate crises and detect weak signals in order to better avoid them,
- Mitigate a crisis and reduce any associated financial risks,
- Transform the company by learning the lessons of ” the why of the how”.
Manage external communication
Communication with actors outside the company is essential, as this allows the latter to get through the crisis while reassuring Customers. To properly manage your external communication, you must communicate constantly on the different channels.
You must also remain contactable throughout the crisis situation. It is also necessary to know how to speak at the right time, whether for an official press release or on social networks.
Digital at the heart of crisis communication
“69% of companies have experienced a crisis in the last 5 years and 29% do not have a crisis management team. Source : Talkwalker
Social networks are perfect tools to manage your crisis communication. But to do so, it is essential to anticipate the crisis on the networks even before it hits your business.
It is therefore necessary to set up a team dedicated to crisis communication in order to secure your company as much as possible. Especially since over the years, crisis communication has evolved enormously. Just as the term digital public relations is increasingly used. This allows you to quickly reach a large audience.
Whether for your Customers and Partners, or even for your employees, there are tools that allow you to adapt and control your communication according to your objectives.
Today, your website and all your social networks are the best ways to communicate during a crisis . Indeed, whether it is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… They are real assets in order to stay connected to the outside world. It is also an opportunity to transmit different information on how things are going.
As written above, it is generally recommended to anticipate a crisis situation as well as possible in order to respond to it as effectively as possible. The example of Covid-19 has shown that to stay in the saddle it is important to communicate quickly, while maintaining a relationship of trust with all the players around you. This keeps them informed while reassuring them.
Therefore, do not hesitate to use the various digital channels at your disposal to manage a crisis instead of simply suffering it.