Nonprofit Tips for Successful Communications in Times of Crisis
Times of crisis provide your organization opportunities to reassess and reset strategies, including messaging. The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly one of those crises where you have had to rush to make decisions about the state of your organization, the way your clients and employees will be affected and more. Therefore, keeping internal and external stakeholders informed should be your priority. Before making changes to your communication strategy during a crisis, consider these overall steps:
- Communicate with your team, consistently (virtual meetings, individual check-ins, etc.), and ensure you provide transparency of where your organization stands.
- Be quick to assess, plan, communicate and reinforce messaging to your stakeholders. If you don’t, they will think you are out of business or don’t have a plan.
- Communicate with urgency by providing only the facts, and acknowledging the unknowns, especially for COVID-19. Issue early on your Continuity Plan statements, including any changes to your services.
Then, follow these tips on communicating during a crisis:
“Reset” your communication plan.
- Think about the information that should make up your message: facts, details of your operations, how you will have reset, re-energized, re-tooled your business, how you are ensuring the health and safety of employees and customers, etc.
- Develop an integrated plan covering all of your channels to reach people where they are. Communicate in ways where those you are trying to reach are “listening.”
- Broadcast your messaging using your marketing communication channels (website, email, social, ads, etc.).
Ensure trust and credibility.
Be consistent with all messaging, internal and external, on all channels. Audiences will trust a message that is cohesive and consistent throughout different channels. If there’s a missed connection from the website to social and so on, doubt may arise, and trust may decline.
Have a set content strategy.
You will find yourself re-evaluating and adjusting content daily/hourly. To help with this situation, draft approved messaging that can be easily changed. Make sure you are showcasing how your organization is embracing the reset. Leave room to insert need-to-know updates. In the end, keep it simple, with clear messages, not overwhelming your audience.
Does your nonprofit need support with its strategy? We can help! Contact us today.