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Eight ways to manage content in a crisis

Strong, supportive content is important for business continuity, especially during the coronoavirus pandemic.

Staff, customers and other stakeholders need to know what your business is doing to manage the crisis and how you will care for them.

Sending an email saying “we’re here to help” isn’t enough. Stakeholders want accurate, useful information and far-ranging insight.

At the very least, employees need reassurances about jobs, pay and new ways of working. Customers and suppliers need to know about changes to the delivery of products and services, while investors need reliable information about your business and its markets.

Reassurances and regular updates are great but the best content goes much deeper than this. The challenge is to provide content of real value to the people that matter to your business – now and in the months ahead.

Here are eight ways to manage your content in a crisis:

  1. Focus on what you can do

Think about the steps you can take to weather the storm and tell people about it in a clear, calm, authoritative way. Providing reassurance that you can navigate a clear path through the crisis and beyond is critical to retaining confidence in your business.

 

  1. Engage people

Don’t just inform stakeholders what you are doing, tell them what you’d like them to do and give simple-to-follow instructions. Provide useful contacts. Make it easy for people to connect to your business remotely.

 

  1. Keep it accurate

The internet is awash with inaccurate news and statistics about Covid-19. Use reliable sources, and if you’re not sure where information comes from, don’t use it. People want facts from sources they trust.

 

  1. Stick to the right tone

This will depend on your company voice but people need to feel supported. Make it clear you genuinely care and you are doing all you can to help. Think about how your wording will be perceived by different reader groups. The words you use, and the tone and style you adopt, will be critical to how stakeholders perceive your ability to help people and manage disruption.

 

  1. Target your content effectively

Many companies responded to the lockdown with quickly drafted “we’re here to help” emails. While the idea was admirable, if these emails were poorly written or targeted, they may as well have been titled “we don’t know what we’re doing”. While speed of response is important, it needs to be measured and coordinated effectively for maximum benefit.

 

  1. Be proactive

Don’t just provide standard information that stakeholders expect. The most proactive organisations developed Covid-19 online resource centres with comprehensive information and advice for different stakeholders, supported by useful insight to help people make informed decisions. This is where you can really make a difference with strong content to cover changes to your business and the industry as a whole.

 

  1. Be original

Speak to experts in your organisation and externally and encourage them to think outside the box. Research market trends and new ways of doing things. Think about the future and how the pandemic may change the way people work, connect and do business. Consider how the industry is likely to evolve. Stay one step ahead and provide original, targeted thought leadership to build trust and add value.

 

  1. Get expert help

The chances are that virtually all your time will be spent firefighting to keep your business afloat and minimise the impact of the pandemic on employees and customers. Working with a specialist writer adept at creating engaging, relevant content will give you time to focus on getting your business and its people through the crisis. Help from expert writer won’t just save you time, it will save you money.

Click here for help with your content.