Addressing media inquiries when an employee has coronavirus

Many of timeless pieces of PR wisdom still apply, but the emphasis and application might change in these extraordinary circumstances.

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In midst of all the stress and uncertainty about the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important for companies to strike the right tone.

Messages to clients, customers and employees should be clear and concise, showing you are in control and staying abreast of the hourly updates from health and government officials.

Messaging should demonstrate compassion for hardships that clients and employees are facing. Let them know you are there to support them.

Many clients are seeking guidance on ways to survive, so consider writing advisory pieces or hosting a webinar that offers actionable and creative ideas.  You should then share your ideas on social media channels so that others can benefit.

With employees, be as transparent as possible. They want to be communicated with on a frequent basis so that they know what’s going on at all times, whether the news is good or bad. Be honest, but don’t be an alarmist. If there was ever a time to demonstrate leadership, now is that time.

If you must deliver bad news to your staff, such as layoffs, reduced hours or pay cuts, be empathetic.  See what you can personally do to help them or their families during this time of crisis.

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