As the world deals with the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, the CDC is calling upon employers to help mitigate the spread of the virus. Employee work guidelines and education, rethinking large gatherings, and reducing in-person meetings are just a few steps being taken in the workplace.

Companies are planning, preparing and responding to the Coronavirus outbreak to protect their human resources. But as they look to future business operations, the manner in which they communicate their actions regarding the virus today will be key to maintaining employee and customer confidence in their brand.

Managing timely communications to external and internal audiences will be vital to conveying that you are responsibly doing your part and are moving forward in the best interests of your company and your customers. You’ve probably received emails from companies, schools and others regarding how they are addressing health safety and continuing business services.

According to SHRM® (Society of Human Resource Management), employers have five basic actions to take when there is a potential communicable disease risk in the workplace. 

  1. Notification and verification of disease risk. 
  2. Understanding the disease and culling resources. 
  3. Identifying the scope of the risks.
  4. Determining employer response. 
  5. Handling internal and HR compliance matters. 

The Quell Group is working with clients at the C-suite, HR, Investor Relations and Marketing levels to develop market and internal communications that outline their response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Whether you have an existing crisis communications plan or not, the Quell team can quickly provide counsel, content and supporting graphics to communicate your position and, in turn, distribute or post through your most visible channels. 

Quick Communications Planning Checklist 

The following offers a quick checklist as you shape ongoing communications during the COVID-19 crisis, which is expected to remain for some time. 

Audience Considerations

  • Employees 
  • Customers 
  • Investors 
  • Vendors 
  • Media 
  • Suppliers 
  • Community 
  • Government 

Content Development 

Your overarching message should address each audience’s respective needs and how your company is responding to the crisis, including: 

  • Preventative and mitigation measures 
  • Business status and any new policies 
  • HR compliance and employee rules 
  • Safety commitment 
  • Continuing operations and delivering services 

Market Channels 

Identify the best channels to distribute and display your content — whether it’s the development of a separate web landing page or email, your communications pipeline needs to be ready with content. Many companies have robust databases of their customers that can help facilitate quick, ongoing communications. 

  • Internal newsletters or intranet
  • Customer newsletters and emails 
  • Email communications 
  • Letter from company leader or executive 
  • Employee posters and facility signage
  • Website, video message

Top 10 Things to Do in a Crisis 

  1. Monitor and assess the situation
  2. Prepare for the threat 
  3. Prepare a rapid response crisis plan
  4. Establish a crisis team – IT, HR, Facilities, C-Suite, Legal, Communications 
  5. Identify interrupted critical business functions 
  6. Map out employees who will be affected
  7. Develop content for affected audiences
  8. Adjust marketing communications plans
  9. Send updates
  10. Measure response/metrics 

Finally, continue to update your audiences on your effort to create a safe environment as you conduct business. 

Show those you depend on for success that you are responsibly addressing the needs of your employees and your customers during this trying period. For assistance in shaping clear, impactful messages that tell all your constituents what you are doing, please contact The Quell Group. 

To find out more about The Quell Group’s crisis communications capabilities, please fill out the form below.