The impacts of the current COVID-19 crisis on businesses continue to be felt across the globe. Brands are struggling to keep up and others are taking advantage of the situation to stay in business. Here are three key points this crises teaches businesses.
Digitalization of processes
With the current crisis, companies are forced to work from home, this means that day to day activities should now be carried online. So data management, storage, team meetings, communication, work flows, creative processes, consumer experiences and sales should be managed online. We need to ask the question, how ready we to just press the green button were. Understanding the digital landscape is essential to the future. From our internal processes to external actions our ‘e-presence’ strategy needs to be solid to embrace all aspects of our business so that we can be actively react to uncontrolled challenges like we are facing now.
Being able to react quickly to changes in the environments has to do with, how the business is set up, processes, structures, decision making and whether the staff at key positions are empowered to make decisions or not. We can see that most companies have just switched their operations to produce COVID-19 supplies in aid of the fight against the pandemic but also to be relevant and stay in business. This does not apply to all businesses but the point is to show that once we have flexible systems and can adapt quickly, we stand a chance to be more successful in utilizing opportunities.
Well, we are obliged to hold meetings via various online tools, email more often, have WhatsApp groups and telephone calling. This makes communication very regular to make actions better aligned.
It is a challenging time for broader society, which means it can be a challenging time for marketers and communicators. In issues and crisis management, there is a saying that goes, “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control what you do about it.” As marketers and communicators, what we can control is how we communicate both internally and externally in a time of crisis.
First, it is crucial that communicators make sure they are dealing with accurate information. Times of crisis can be confusing and frightening, resulting in an amplification of speculation, conspiracy theories, obfuscation and censorship. Communicators must ensure that they are dealing with facts and not fiction, real information and not fake news.
Second, it is crucial to have an understanding of the ultimate goals of the communications being delivered. This is certainly not a time to try to market or sell, but rather to reinforce the values that define leading organizations. What can be done given the various objectives we are working to address? It all comes to down communicating effectively.
And lastly, communicators need to properly place the ongoing crisis and issue in a greater context. What does it mean for globalization, economic growth and more, and how it plays out as the world works to get through the crisis together