Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Clear and Factual: Why transparency is important during a crisis [Tuesdays: “Write with the Pen of the Masters”]

April 14, 2020

7 CRISIS COMMUNICATION TIPS
EVERY ORGANIZATION SHOULD MASTER

#5 Be Transparent

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Effective communication is about disseminating information quickly and efficiently.

For businesses and companies during a crisis, this means communicating clear and factual information as soon as possible to prevent problems and confusion from happening among customers and employees.

Today’s COVID-19 global pandemic has shown how essential clear and effective communication is during challenging times.

It is always important to have effective communication with your customers and employees.

To help you do this, we at Valens Research provide you with important tips and advice based on the article, “7 Crisis Communication Tips Every Organization Should Master” from Northeastern University’s Communication program.

In our past four articles, we talked about why you should Respond Quickly, how to Leverage Support, why you should Put the Victims First, and why you should not Not Play the Blame Game. This week, our tip is…

Be Transparent.

It is imperative for organizations to provide necessary information to their customers and employees. This can include updates on the company’s current status, policies and guidelines, or even newly assigned roles and responsibilities. Transparency is important because it gives people easy access to all of the information they need.

Being a transparent organization means that you do not withhold information to employees and customers, and make an effort to keep communication as open as possible.

This is even more crucial during a crisis.

Misinformation can cause as much disaster as a crisis itself. Numerous companies and organizations have been punished for spreading wrong information. Whether the misinformation is accidental or deliberate, this can cause harm to their members and customers.

While there are companies and organizations that have had problems being transparent, there are also great examples of brands who value transparency and keep their employees and customers well-informed.

In 2016, outdoor clothing company Patagonia collaborated with Fair Trade USA, a product certification organization, in creating a video campaign about how their products are made. The campaign informed Patagonia’s customers that their products are manufactured in Fair Trade-certified factories, which pay higher wages and have better working standards. Patagonia is known for its sustainability, and this campaign shows that they are following the right labor and business practices.

This campaign also explains how their supply chain and manufacturing are managed each step of the way. Customers could click on an item on the Patagonia website and check out videos to show how it’s made and distributed. They also showed that the products were made using fair and ethical practices.

These videos not only educated the customers, but also became platforms where customers could send their feedback on how the company can improve their products and services. Through this campaign, Patagonia was able to build better customer trust simply by holding itself publicly accountable for its practices and processes.

How can you apply transparency in your business or company?

  1. Disseminate information to your customers at accessible

    The best way to distribute content such as articles, infographics, and videos for your customers is by publishing and sending them to the most accessible channels. This can include your social media pages, or you can send an email blast to your mailing list.

    You can also dedicate a section on your company website where you can publish reports, statements, and other information that you want to share to the public.

    In today’s pandemic, you can publish and send clear and factual information on how they can keep themselves safe, and communicate how you can provide services during this challenging time. The internet is a powerful information dissemination tool, use it wisely.

  2. Create open channels for your employees

    Your employees are the backbone of your company, which is why it is essential that they can openly communicate their concerns and request information from management.

    Having these channels strengthens your office culture and builds trust among your employees. These communication channels can be in the form of weekly or monthly employee feedback forms, for example.

    Companies during the COVID-19 pandemic can use these channels to quickly learn about their employees’ concerns and situations, and find different ways to help them if needed.

  3. Be transparent about your roles and responsibilities

    Employees usually have an idea of who their colleagues are in a company and their positions. However, not many of them are aware of what the roles and responsibilities of other employees are.

    For example, a company’s HR department may have more than a handful of members, all of whom handle different responsibilities. Without a clear division of roles and responsibilities, employees might not know who to approach for specific concerns.

    During crises, not immediately knowing who to approach becomes problematic, especially if it’s an emergency. By being transparent about who is in charge of what, it becomes easier for employees to know how to reach out for assistance.

In a crisis, information is a very powerful tool that can help people and companies overcome challenges and create solutions.

Transparency is extremely important. It provides people with the answers they need, encourages honest and open communication, and builds trust.

Applying this week’s crisis communication tip to your communication strategy will benefit your organization and its customers down the road. Keeping everyone aware and properly informed makes it easier for you to build longer lasting relationships. After all, when people trust your company, chances are you’ll survive any crisis.

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Write with the Pen of the Masters”

Who doesn’t find content writing to be a skill that requires a lot of practice and effort?

In fact, many people may even find copywriting very intimidating.

However, you can be a good writer as long as you have the right tools. You won’t always get things right the first time, but with enough time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it!

When you write a copy for any brand or for your company, your aim is to make an impact and…

…to get people to remember.

Getting people to remember means getting consumers to buy your product or to avail of your service.

And when you get your content to deliver the results you want, THAT is a great copy!

Every Tuesday, we publish content based on tips and insights from the masters of content writing, copywriting, and storytelling.

Become more familiar with ways to write great copy that helps you gain ROI from your efforts, drive profitability, and achieve your business goals.

Learn time-tested tactics that better capture the attention of your target audience, and maximize the benefits of great copywriting.

Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Write with the Pen of the Masters!”

Cheers,

Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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