communicating through the corona virus crisis

How to communicate through the coronavirus crisis

Advice from PR professional, Erin Farrell-Talbot on how to communicate with customers, employees, and the media

This is part 2 in a series of posts to help sales and marketing leaders manage through the coronavirus crisis. The first post focused on advice from sales leaders to sales leaders. This second post focuses on communications.

One of the most important issues for leaders right now is what and how to communicate with your employees, customers, and the media.

Erin-Farrell-Talbot
Erin Farrell-Talbot, of Farrell Talbot Consulting

I interviewed Erin Farrell-Talbot, of Farrell Talbot Consulting, to get her to take on what leaders should be doing right now.

Erin Farrell-Talbot has over 20 years of public relations experience with firms ranging from start­ups to Fortune 100 companies. Having held key roles in corporate communications departments and public relations agencies, she has developed keen insights and perspectives as a communications and media relations strategist.

Listen to the entire interview:

An interview with Erin Farrell-Talbot

Here are the key takeaways:

Communications – The Big Picture

  • It’s important to always be on, you have to be connected with your clients and with your stakeholders
  • Communicate often and communicate that you care especially with employees and customers

Communicating with Customers

  • Clearly, customers are nervous and fearful about their business. Be empathetic, authentic, and helpful.
  • Communicate with your customers about your policies, what’s taking place right now in your business, and how they can work with you.
  • Let them know you are there for them. Tell them how they can reach you, especially after hours.
  • Don’t be self-serving. People want transparent, honest information, that is helpful.

Communicating with Employees

  • With employees, in particular, communication needs to be transparent and honest. It needs to be human as if you’re sitting across the table having coffee. Tell them how you are going to help them.
  • Communications are not just one and done. It needs to be constant.
  • Use all channels and media, not just email, but also zoom, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Slack channels and communicate broadly with all employees, regardless of where they’re getting their information.

Communicating with the Media

  • Reporters are inundated right now by all kinds of PR people and sources on stories, but they have to keep writing, so you need to continue to communicate with them, especially about what’s going on in your business and with your clients.
  • Most reporters have shifted their beats to cover the coronavirus and how it affects their normal beat. If they are a technology reporter, they are looking at how technology is helping, whether they are using AI tools or the internet of things and how that can help. if they are a beat reporter covering retail, then they are looking at what this means for the retail industry and how this is drastically changing the way we are shopping.
  • Your tone needs to be helpful and thoughtful. You must not be viewed as ambulance chasing.
  • Don’t go dark. Don’t shut off your communications campaigns, because we will come out of this eventually and the companies that have maintained a communications program will come out on the other side much better.

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Adam Turinas

Hi, I am Adam Turinas, Healthlaunchpad's founder. I am passionate about helping healthtech firms succeed through better sales and marketing. I have hard-earned experience in healthcare technolgy as I started two healthcare businesses in the US, the first with zero healthcare experience. We sold the second business to a strategic buyer seven years later. Over 9 years building a healhtech businesses, I have learned how to sell and market effectively to healthcare organizations. Prior to this, I spent two decades in digital marketing across healthcare and other consumer industries where I sold over $100 million in products and services to corporations and healthcare orgs. I would love to talk with you. You can book a call with me on the right hand side. Best Adam

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