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Best practices in communications during COVID-19

Brevity, sincerity and customization will cut through the noise.

For those working from home for the first time, you may be in challenging circumstances, to say the least. If there are kids around, it can kick it up to a whole new level. We will come out of this with a new appreciation for the office space.

Part of the problem is the feeling of being disconnected even as technology platforms allow us to be more connected than ever before. Zoom, Hangout and Slack offer connections and conversations we are accustomed to with our colleagues and customers. But they leave us with a vague sense of something missing. That, of course, is personal contact, something that simply won’t be back for a while. In the meantime, we tend to fill the void with a lot of virtual talk, mistaking volume for effectiveness.

If your experience is anything like mine, you are astonished at how many companies you inadvertently connected with and how many of them have been following you. So many CEOs wish to tell you at length how their companies are doing during this crisis. Companies (some you’ve never heard of) give you a play-by-play of their every move and perspective. There’s too much noise and not enough authenticity.

In this unplanned and temporary world of extreme virtual connectedness, we should remember the guidelines for what constitutes effective communication. Brevity, sincerity and customization are all extremely important. Especially when communicating with government. Here are some other tips to remember:

  • Communicate only as needed: narrow the reach to essential recipients.
  • Have a singular point.
  • Use direct language. No jargon.
  • Be empathetic: it’s about your audience, not you.
  • Don’t spin. Be honest and authentic.
  • Use visuals where possible: images and video are distinguished from heavy text.
  • Find the point where your needs match the needs of your interested party. Declare it at the start.

Add your own voice to these points. Anything that is honest, authentic and brief will cut through the noise.



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