Four tips transform your brand’s communication in a crisis

published 31 March 2020

Should your CEO be doing the talking? What goodness does your brand own? Is it OK to be positive right now? How do I remain relevant?

This week, James, Goodwork’s Director of Creative Strategy and Language, returns to share four tips to transform your brand’s communication in a crisis.

1. Top down is the right way up.
During times of crisis, key brand communications should come from your CEO. They should be factual, reassuring and place the company in the context of the wider global community, not just that of your customers. An example of this can be seen from AirBnb, with communications coming from all three founders together, ‘Brian, Joe and Nate’, and a personal message of support for hosts struggling at this time. To add to this, and placing the company in the context of the wider global community, the platform has launched ‘Airbnb for Doctors and Nurses’, a pilot programme to help medical professionals and caregivers in Italy and France access free accommodation provided by hosts, as they fight the outbreak.
For news on this initiative and more, check into news.airbnb.com

2. Philanthropy over promotion.
We like this one at Goodwork. The etymology of the word ‘philanthrôpía’ is closely associated with the idea of ‘goodness’. Simply put, one piece of advice we’ve been sharing with clients is to focus on the goodness your brand can bring to the world at this time. The AirBnB example above speaks to this. Or closer to home, we’ve seen the likes of Optus offering customers free additional data to aid remote working or stay connected while in self-isolation.

3. Think positively, act responsibly.
The team at Twitter Next are encouraging brands to not shy away from talking about things outside of the current circumstances, acknowledging that levity and positivity can mean a lot right now. Following on from our recent update about brand voice – this is about achieving the right balance of message and tone, to ensure that everything that’s been said is done so in a way that’s on brand and most importantly, appropriate. “We’ve also seen non Covid-19 related positive stories capture people’s attention, because good things continue to happen, despite the context right now. Brands should continue to connect with and celebrate these moments, as and when appropriate” – Alex Josephson and Eimear Lambe, Twitter Next.

4. Write in real time.
With things unfolding as fast as they are, it’s super important to ensure you monitor media, and assess whether the message is appropriate for the moment. What may have resonated yesterday, may not necessarily land with your audiences today. Stay informed.

We have a few more to share. If you’re interested in discovering more or if you have a few questions of your own, simply get in touch.