How to communicate during civil unrest

Communicators, you are essential personnel. Here’s vital guidance to send meaningful messages in this heated moment.

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The United States of America is a boiling cauldron of rage right now.

That puts communicators in a precarious position, weighing several options:

It’s a tough situation for many organizations that will be looking to communicators internally to help guide the way.

“As with COVID-19, this is a time for communicators to be front and center, offering guidance and counsel to their leaders,” says Jim Ylisela, co-founder of Ragan Consulting Group. “But this is also the time for an actual plan, not just reaction. There is urgency to get out there, but not without at least some thought and planning behind it.”

Checking bias

To craft meaningful messaging amid our current crisis—and to ensure your leaders do the same—Ragan Consulting Group’s Kim Clark says it’s crucial to first “check our own unconscious bias.”

Riot-related communication delivered by white executives is especially fraught, and Clark stresses the importance of having a diverse review team. “If it’s all written by white people, I guarantee you the comms will miss the mark,” she says.

She offers five tips that organizations should keep in mind during this quickly-evolving situation:

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