By Honest Communications


How to let your customers and employees know you’re back up and running, and telling them the changes that you’ve made.

As businesses slowly start to ease out of lockdown and as the light at the end of the tunnel gets slowly brighter, it’s time to start thinking about how to communicate your “new normal”.

Every brand, company and business will have to implement some form of changes and making sure you let your employees and customers know about the steps you are taking is vital.

Letting people know you’re back in business

There are so many ways to do this and each business will vary based on its customer type but the main channels are:

  • Blogs
  • Website updates
  • Social media posts
  • Email campaigns
  • Printed newsletters
  • In-store leaflets and signage
  • Press releases

It might be as simple as saying “we’re back!”, but it also might be that you’ve had to implement certain social distancing measures and you need to let people know what they are. Or if you’re operating in a different capacity now with more flexible working, you’ll need to let people know how and when they can get in touch.

When it comes your communications there is no room for error here. Everything needs to be clear, consistent and easy to understand.

Clarity isn’t just important when it comes to your external comms, it’s even more important internally and will help your employees feel more comfortable about returning to work.

This might include:

  • Statements
  • Letters
  • Handbooks
  • Workplace signage and posters
  • Welcome back packs

It’s easy to copy and paste jargon from policies and tick the HR box that says you told staff what changes you’ve made, but with our help you rest easy knowing that everything is communicated to them in a jargon-free way that they will understand, with supporting photos too!

 

Defining your message and things to consider

When it comes to knowing what to say there are a few things to keep in mind.

Listen

As a communications agency, we advise people on how to communicate (obviously). But part of good communication is listening – just as a good conversation should flow both ways.

Listen to your audience – how are they feeling, what are they worrying about and what do they need help with? Use what you learn from listening to speak to them in a way that’s appropriate and relevant to them. Listening now will also help you to figure out how best to position your business.

Engage

Memes and micro trends pop up more than usual at times like these – when people are united by an experience. If it’s right for your business, take advantage of the social conversations that are happening. Look out for what’s trending on Twitter and hop on the hashtag of the moment on Instagram. Connect with your audience and join in on the current social conversation but always be mindful of times when it isn’t right for your business too.

Create content

Overt selling doesn’t sit well in the current climate. Consumers know that buying things can’t fix this problem or make them feel better and companies trying to push sales just look ignorant. Similarly, some companies are using the crisis as an opportunity to ‘subtly’ market their products which is transparent and in poor taste. Profiteering from a pandemic isn’t a good look.

Marketing shouldn’t stop, but it should be appropriate. Content marketing – providing useful content to educate, engage and entertain is the kind of marketing that feels right for these times. Use your expertise to help people – be generous. Content marketing might not get you any quick sales, but it will build trust with your audience over time, and when people are ready to buy, they’ll think of you.

Producing quality content for your website will also help you to build authority and boost your SEO rankings. If things are a bit quiet on the to-do list then it’s a great time to be reviewing your website, planning new content and giving things a refresh.

Collaborate

If there are any positives to come out of this pandemic, people pulling together is one of them. Now, more than ever, people realise they need each other, and we can see how interconnected everything is. The same is true of businesses – it’s a tough time for everyone and offering a (metaphorical) helping hand where you can, will be appreciated. If you can find any opportunities to collaborate and combine forces with other businesses, it might help you to get back up to speed more quickly.

Collaborating with a business that shares your values and ethos means you can share social audiences and ideas for content, and perhaps plan a partnership event for when all this passes.

For example, here at Honest Communications, we’ve recently joined forces with a local photographer as we realised the synergy in our services and how we can work together to support businesses easing out of lockdown with joint photography, social media and content packages.

The main thing to remember in all of this is to be clear and consistent in your communication. Then keep your sights set on the future and make the most of the opportunities that this moment brings.

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