16 Feb Corporate Communication Tips (During a Pandemic)
When we started Black Mountain eight years ago, digital communication was already key. We knew that it would only grow in importance, which is why we created our small agency around the idea of focusing on digital content production, rather than trying to do it all.
Fast forward to 2021, and with all the massive shifts that this pandemic has brought along with it, we’ve never seen such an intense focus on how we communicate digitally. After all, we hardly leave the house these days, so the communication we receive through our phones and our laptops takes up the majority of our time and headspace.
Technology is keeping us connected to loved ones, as well as enabling many of us to continue to work wherever we find ourselves (even though that may come with its own set of challenges). We’re very grateful that our clients continue to need the services we provide – perhaps because there’s never been a more important time for a company to communicate effectively.
In a period where the majority of people are fatigued, stressed and stretched in general, these key principles will help make your corporate communications more engaging and more effective:
- Be brief
We don’t have time to read your lengthy newsletter. We barely have time to read the subject line of the email. Tell us exactly what we’re going to be reading, and start with the important information first. Showing respect for your readers’ time means they’ll be far more likely to take action if what they’re reading is brief.
- Be human
Companies were trying to be human before this pandemic, but they weren’t really being forced to. This past year however, has completely cancelled out any illusions we may have previously had that our work lives and personal lives should be separate. Whether it’s a Zoom meeting with a toddler on your lap, or an honest email explaining why you can’t make a deadline (“my father is sick in hospital so I’m going to need a little more time”), we’ve all discovered our shared collective humanity. Because of this, it’s vital that your brand communicates in a way that is empathetic and authentic. It needs to sound like a person rather than an anonymous being, or an unknown quantity.
- Help, educate, listen
Your communication needs to add value. It needed to before Covid, but that’s just been ramped up a notch. Are you helping someone by sending this emailer? Are you educating someone with this blog post? Are you running a survey to find out how you can improve your services for your customers? If you’re just doing all the talking, with no awareness of how that communication is going to land (and what its purpose is), you’re wasting valuable resources and time.
- Tell them what to do
We can barely decide what to cook for dinner each night, so make it easy to follow your instructions. Use both design and copy to make your communication precise, so that the reader is not in any doubt what they’re meant to do. “Want to see how you’ll be affected? Read more about our new policies here.” “Got a question about your rate change? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help”. Bold it, enlarge it, put it in a flash…just make that call to action stand out.
The whole world is tired. We need hope, we need a bit of fun, and we need to share positive stories. When it comes to internal communication, dig deep and think of different ways of doing things. Perhaps it’s company training in quiz form? Or establishing an (online) company bookclub to boost morale?
When it comes to social media and content creation, try and find the positive things your company and its people are doing. Maybe it’s a CSI initiative that’s saving lives, or an inspirational story that’s sprung up elsewhere. There are often many positive things happening in times of despair, and these need to be shared. Besides the positive brand association and general feeling of goodwill these stories generate, we need these stories on a human level.
These basic corporate communication principles have always been true, but they’ve been proved even truer over the past year. Need some help connecting with your customers in a more human way? Chat to us today.