By Vanessa Sulina, Communication and Marketing Manager
It is a harsh truth that Covid-19 cause more and more victims every day in our country. It is also true that there are so many incredible professionals relentlessly fighting the disease on several fronts. But did you know that your company is a very important soldier in this war, which is only beginning? The reason is that communication with employees, customers, suppliers and society plays a fundamental role, especially in current times. During this key moment, in which connections are created with purpose, I will provide practical tips for companies to engage more with their employees and meet client demands, which are increasingly higher.
To begin with, corporate communications need to be strategic, assertive and should seek to offer solutions. A survey carried out by Edelman called the 2020 Trust Barometer – Trust and Coronavirus, at the beginning of March, ten countries, including Brazil, appointed that a communication sent by the employer is the most trusted source for information on the Coronavirus. According to the report, 63% of the interviewees said they believe information provided by companies after having one or two interactions, versus 58% who said they trust a government website and 51% who preferred the traditional media.
And the facts don’t stop here. Employees want clarity and transparency on information. For example: they want to know how many of their colleagues were infected with the virus (57%) and how Covid-19 is affecting the company’s ability to function (53%). They want to receive information by email or newsletters (48%), and postings on the company’s website (33%).
The figures portray that companies are considered to have high responsibility. Marlene Marchioni, a researcher, writer, graduate professor at UEL (University of Londrina) and specialist in Organizational Communication explains that managing the Coranavirus process brought in a broader perspective, involving society and the world, customer service, partners and suppliers.
“The company’s first initiative should be reaching out to employees on a daily basis. Leaders also need to be involved as they work closely with the teams. There also needs to be frequent institutional dynamics, such as messages from directors”.
Only then, according to Marlene, should new stakeholders enter the process. “The company should inform, through its networks, that it is offering security and well-being to its employees. Opinion by digital influencers can also be used. Alliances and collective consciousness can be formed to connect people and businesses. It may also be time to extend communication to employees’ families and the community in general”.
Purpose creates connection
Within the responsibility that lies behind communication, brands with a clear purpose and that are already in touch with their users also have more articulation and connection with the general public. Thus, they can consequently better handle the crisis. “Such brands have strategies and processes that facilitate communication, they are agile in making decisions, and they also have teams that are connected”, says the specialist.
On the other hand, those who have not yet adapted to this reality are challenged to not get ran over by those already on this path.
After all, it wasn’t today that we entered the Affective Economy era, in which users are emotionally linked to brands, creating a bond that generates businesses. In other orders, the more a brand represents me, the more I value it. And, at a moment of uncertainty and emotional instability, these companies have the opportunity (and duty) to be remarkable and make a difference with the clients who helped them get where they are today. Clients are “partners” who deserve more respect and attention.
Covid-19 also offers an opportunity to build a legacy. What has your brand done for society?
Purpose, clarity, consistency, transparency and credibility are fundamental tools in the battle for information to help society face this evil upon us. Let’s win this battle, too!
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR COMPANIES *
1 – Guide and offer employees information so they take preventive actions based on official recommendations.
2 – Take care of employees by paying attention to possible Covid-19 symptoms, or even symptoms of their family members, but always respecting their privacy.
3 – Create conditions for remote working so employees can preserve the health and, when this is not possible, reduce risks as much as possible.
4 – Plan all possible future scenarios to anticipate employee travel needs.
5 – Learn that all crises offer learning opportunities and promote changes that improve the company’s technological structure and enables web conferences for more focused meetings.