Managing communications during the COVID-19 crisis

The adage, “It’s not a matter of if a crisis will happen to your organization, but when,” rings true now.

The future of coronavirus seems out of our control. The only real thing communicators can control is how to prepare for ever-changing scenarios and respond quickly as the information evolves. That’s why we’ve created this page, to help provide resources that will make your job a little easier. 

Below are some essential tips, guides and advice for communicating effectively during these uncertain times.

  1. A 9-step coronavirus employee communications guide
    Reinforce values, state facts, involve managers among best practices
  2. Canceling over coronavirus: Should your event go on?
    Heed local cautions, embrace digital and apply quarantines
  3.  7 tips for trust building communications during coronavirus
    Speed and accuracy are paramount in establishing trust
  4. Covering Corona: In the midst of a public health crisis, brand journalists are stepping up their storytelling Great examples of coronavirus story coverage from a variety of industries.

Crisis Communications Webinar: Managing through the coronavirus: 

The world has seen too many crises to be surprised when another one hits. It’s up to public relations and communications professionals to have a tried-and-true crisis management plan in place to stay ahead of it all. What should you do to effectively manage and monitor a PR crisis? How can you be sure the crisis plan in place will deliver the desired results?

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

    • Proven tips for crisis communications risk assessment, planning and strategy in a public health emergency
    • How to adjust your internal communications during the coronavirus crisis
    • Communications tactics to consider in the coming months
    • How smart organizations are leveraging the crisis using storytelling to showcase their expertise

Watch the webinar now: Managing through coronavirus (PDF of webinar slides)

Three Keys to Internal Communications During the Coronavirus Crisis

  1. Communicate frequently. This is a global crisis, but your internal audiences want to know how it affects their lives. Your organization can be a primary source of information, insight and reassurance right now. Calm messaging and practical advice will help provide what your audiences need; it will also help foster a spirit of community during a difficult time.
  2. Make it a conversation. Health and safety are highly personal and emotional issues. People will want to ask questions, provide feedback and express concerns. Consider virtual town halls, dedicated email addresses, regular manager meetings, Internet forums or other ways to give employees opportunities to do so – and make sure executives are listening.
  3. Remember the Three Cs:
      • Coordination. Align your messaging with public health experts’ guidance regarding health and safety. This isn’t time to get creative. Your words should echo theirs.
      • Clarity. Choose your words carefully. Internal audiences are looking to you for instruction and reassurance. It’s crucial to avoid confusing or vague messages. 
      • Compassion. Many people are anxious at this stressful time. Some may have serious concerns about their health or that of their family or friends. The tone of internal communications should reflect this reality.

Here are some video tips to help you through the crisis:

Free download: 3 things you (probably) don’t know about crisis communications

Click the image to read the report.

We hope these free resources will help you communicate quickly, truthfully and purposefully. Should you need further help, Ragan Consulting Group offers the following services:

  • Media training and mock interviews. Our veteran pros—including award-winning former journalists—will teach your leaders or spokespeople to navigate the crisis by prepping them for live TV, recording mock interviews and playing back for analysis. They’ll need to be sharp and incisive for the inevitable rough-and-tumble confrontation interview.
  • Message development. We’ll help you develop key messages, snackable soundbites reporters will actually use, persuasive proof points and humanizing anecdotes to be used as the health crisis continues to unfold.
  • Crisis Scenario Summit: We’ll will hold a full-day on-site or virtual workshop to build out potential scenarios for each relevant risk and start identifying the specific scenarios you’ll use for the plan, including prioritizing.
  • Stakeholder Mapping: During a crisis like coronavirus, you’re stakeholders are ever evolving. We’ll map out specific stakeholders to each potential scenario to ensure you have all your messaging covered.
  • Pop-up newsroom: We can set up a newsroom dedicated to covering the coronavirus to help your employees, customers, industry and community stay up-to-date with your organizational news.

Contact Kristin Hart to learn more about these services or to set up a chat with one of our experts: or 312-960-4202.