How brand managers should address COVID-19

How can communicators help their organizations respond to the global health crisis? This agency leader shares his insights.

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With the news changing by the hour (or even the minute) the COVID-19 virusĀ outbreak has companies scrambling to prepare communications strategies.

Regardless of whether the outbreak becomes a full-blown pandemic, taking appropriate operational and communications steps now will help organizational strength and stability.

Here are five tips to proactively communicate and respond to requests for information related to COVID-19:

1. Communicate early, often and consistently.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has made it clear that it is a question of when, not if, local outbreaks of the coronavirus will occur in the U.S., and the U.S. State Department has warned travel restrictions could be put in place with little or no advance notice.

In times of uncertainty, employees look for timely information from their employers about how the organization expects to be affected, and how it will respond. Coordinated and consistent communication is crucial.

This is especially important given that employees are the connection to other relevant audiences including customers, investors, supply chain partners, local communities and more.

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