Some businesses are pointless telling customers and suppliers that they “take coronavirus very seriously”. But do you have an escalation plan for communications when your organisation is affected?
Over a month ago we called the coronavirus a “slow grow crisis”. It was difficult to respond early because its impacts weren’t clear. Over the past few weeks, some international organisations began taking preventative steps. But most of us are likely to respond only when the virus infects staff (or their families), customers or business partners.
We’ve helped clients develop ‘escalation plans’ – short ready-reckoners covering the scale of exposure your organisation might experience; from supply shortages to large scale staff illness.
The easiest form is a one-page table listing each incident level – who will need to be told, how to tell them, and what to say. Obviously your organisation will still need to develop protocols to keep operating in some way. Communications will be essential to informing and explaining.
We expect stakeholders to be highly alert to and accepting of what organisations feel obliged to do. Don’t over-explain or over-work the communication. The fewer words the better. Try our advice in this LinkedIn post on how to keep virus communications simple, instructive and visual.