Clear, simple and frequent communication is required during a crisis like COVID-19, which has turned the world upside down. Bloggers Alliance hosted a Twitter Chat in association with NASSCOM Community via @BlogIndiaBlog on 19th April, 2020 and it witnessed huge success. The theme of the discussion was “Crisis Communication during COVID-19” and the invited guests were Dr Amit Nagpal, Personal Branding Coach and Author – “Heroes Amongs Us” (a popular motivational book) and Dr. Reema Aswani, Artificial Intelligence & Analytics Research Lead – NASSCOM Research.
The Twitter Chat emphasised the need for honest, precise, timely and relevant information with empathy during any crisis amongst other things.
Here are my 10 key takeaways from the Twitter Chat:
- Crisis communication should be frequent and timely
Communication is the cornerstone of any organisation’s success. In the absence of physical interaction, it is even more imperative that teams connect frequently and share timely updates to fill any voids.
- Tech-powered two-way communication and collaboration
To ensure seamless collaborations on projects, organisations are adopting tech solutions like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack, Trello etc. to hold virtual meetings, communicate using real-time messaging applications, and share documents.
- Team alignment via daily scrum/stand-up meetings
Remote working during crisis requires effective time management. It is critical to plan the day well and communicate specific To-Dos during the daily scrum. Collaboration tools are great for daily task management and for tracking progress.
- Design a comprehensive stakeholder communications strategy
Timely updates to all stakeholders is critical. It is important to address all internal as well as external stakeholders by creating a stakeholder engagement plan.
- Being transparent and establishing facts is the key
Reliable data underpins both crisis planning and response and thus both internal and external stakeholder communication should be fact based.
- Ensure that the “right message” goes out
While communicating with external partners/clients, it is important that the client-facing teams echo the right message to avoid any miscommunication and confusion amidst crisis.
- Virtual events are great for information dissemination
Webinars, webcasts and virtual events can be helpful for conducting sessions, information dissemination and engaging with larger audience, thereby overcoming the challenges posed by absence of in-person interaction.
- Data security measures are critical
Remote working comes with added responsibilities and it is imperative to ensure data security while using remote communication tools.
- Concern and empathy are important during crisis
In these trying times, showcasing concern and empathy are of extreme importance. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes makes it easier
- Communication within teams should be beyond work
Organisations are extensively leveraging collaboration tools for more than work related communication. These tools come handy for team building activities like online games, fitness challenges, and town halls and for sharing the hobbies one is pursuing.
The News Chronicle also summarised the Twitter Chat in their article on CRISIS COMMUNICATION SHOULD BE ‘CLEAR, SIMPLE & FREQUENT’