Effective communication during a pandemic

How to stay in touch with employees, customers and stakeholders

OpenMarket – April 1, 2020

In a global crisis, the infrastructure and supply chains we usually take for granted become conspicuous as they strain under pressure.

The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Our dependence on hospital beds, supermarkets, respirators, drugs, soap and, yep, toilet paper is only fully exposed when access becomes a problem.

And while all this is going on, we realize how living and operating in a changing environment relies on another critical resource: information.

In this post, we discuss the importance of effective communication in uncertain times, and the part that mobile messaging can and will play.

Stay in touch and be relevant

Businesses are becoming more reliant on mobile messaging to stay in touch with their employees and customers.

Record volumes of messaging traffic have been transported across the world in recent weeks – boosted by employers, governments, medical institutions, restaurants, schools and other organizations trying to survive in this changed world.

For information about communicating in a crisis, check out our web page here.

Keep people informed

A lot of information is flying around. There’s the ever-evolving guidelines from authorities like the WHO and government bodies. And there’s rumor and misinformation too: the questionable medical advice from a friend of a friend whose sister is a doctor somewhere.

The point is, when a situation is serious and changeable, information from reliable sources grows in value and importance.

Governments are stepping up in this respect. City and county authorities in places like San Francisco and San Diego have launched COVID-19 public information text message alert systems. News broadcasters have done the same, with some inviting subscribers to text their own questions for experts to answer.

The UK government event sent a text to the whole nation asking them to stay inside until further notice.

Be a trusted source

But there’s plenty to be done at a more local level, especially by reputable organizations. For example, there are schools that need to help parents who are confused about closures. There are medical facilities that need to advise patients about appointment availability. And there are shops and restaurants that need to help people access vital supplies in a lockdown.

So here’s the key point: Your organization can be a trusted source of valuable information in a crisis.

By gathering and sharing information – whether on health advice, infrastructure updates, best practices, or the service you provide – you can help your employees, customers or stakeholders.

Reach everyone no matter where they are

Some people are devouring information from a wide variety of channels at the moment. Others find engaging with social or mainstream media too stressful (which can result in people being behind the curve on issues such as social distancing).

For both, the simplicity and timeliness of mobile messaging can be key. It can help you deliver information to people swiftly, at any time, no matter where they are or what type of phone they have.

When you’ve got teams working from home, with many of them struggling to get set up with the right tech, mobile messaging can be the best way to stay in touch.

Give the people what they want

So whether you’re a public body, a brand offering an evolved service, or a business trying to communicate with all of its employees, you’re likely to see higher sign-up rates for mobile messaging during this period of uncertainty.

The onus is on you to keep up your end of the bargain and repay that trust with a reliable, responsible, and valuable service – today and in the long term once the worst is over.

To talk to us about messaging in a crisis, click here.

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