Communicating Through a Crisis

Photo Credit: Robert Metz


COVID-19 has certainly caused all businesses, large and small, to enact immediate measures to protect employees, address business challenges, and help mitigate the outbreak in any ways possible.

Part of managing this evolving situation is to establish and communicate a response.

First and foremost, all communications should be timely, factual, decisive and reach all of your stakeholders to not leave anyone behind. Stakeholders include:

  • Employees and their families
  • Suppliers/Vendors
  • Customers/Clients
  • Creditors
  • Regulators
  • Elected Officials


Next, develop your messages in three primary areas:

  1. External Communications
  2. Internal Communications
  3. Digital Communications


Finally, follow these best practices for communicating in crisis:

Separate fact from rumor by documenting what you know for certain. Don’t create more noise or inject opinion.

Be informed.

Be brief.

Be calm.

Be clear.

Determine the problems for your stakeholders and focus on what you can fix. Develop relevant messaging and stay connected.

Assemble a team with expertise to handle the situation and ability to create a strategy for resolving your stakeholders’ most pressing concerns. Identify assignments and roles. Communicate quickly and clearly.

Communicate. Choose the best digital and traditional tools for the situation. Make adjustments as the crisis evolves and be sensitive to communications frequency; don’t spam your audiences!

Communications is your primary tool during crisis. Be confident in your information and message. Frequently re-evaluate and adjust.

Article by: Angela Carter

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