Insight by Richard Thomson

According to a recent report by Forbes, employees trust their employer for information on COVID-19 (63%) more than they trust their government (58%). It’s a good indication of how honest and helpful employer communication is highly valued.

We’re less than three weeks into lockdown in the UK (as of 6th April 2020) and conventional comms and channels have been thrown out of the window. If there was ever a time in your comms career to try something new, now is the time. This is comms time to shine.

There for your employees…

Part of Internal comms job is to help your employees get through this – both practically and mentally. Now’s the time to be community organisers/ to be the glue that holds the organisation together. Your employees want to hear from their leadership, but they also want to hear from their colleagues. Amongst the daily COVID-19 reports, they want stuff that will make them smile, make them laugh and make them feel connected. Here are just a few examples of what companies employees are doing to keep connected:

  • ‘Staying connected’ weekly packaged video news flash
  • Virtual coffee mornings
  • Employee led yoga and fitness classes
  • 10k April walking challenge
  • Employee cooking club
  • 4pm Friday drinks
  • And of course, see our suggestions in our other blogs for great user-generated content during COVID-19

… and there for your leaders

76% of comms people believe that this has had a positive impact on their relationship with leaders. Comms professionals are there to help work with their leaders to show what to do and how to do it – there to help them shape the messages they want to get across. Leadership need to give their employees facts, but more than anything they need to give them reassurance and empathy. One thing that hasn’t changed is the importance of clear and purposeful comms.

What – what do you want them to know

So what – why does it matter to them

Now what – what do you want them to do with that information?

So come on all you Comms professionals, this is your time to shine.

Richard Thomson

Richard is CEO of Kaptcha. He cut his teeth at the BBC, where he directed some of their biggest and most engaging shows including Top Gear, Crimewatch and Holiday. Bringing these skills to the corporate world, he then launched the multi award-winning HSBC TV. Today he harnesses the power of film to tell the engaging stories behind the brands, creating real change in the way audiences – internal and external - feel and think.

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