‘So, anyone got any experience in communicating with clients during a global health emergency?’ We are all in this learning curve together. B2C businesses tend to go down the route of telling customers what to expect of their service, and it mostly works because that’s what customers want to know. But it’s not quite as straightforward for B2B businesses. You may want to offer some words of wisdom, but you don’t have all the answers. Perhaps you want to tell the world about the brilliant work you’re still doing, but do people really want to hear about that right now? If you want to get a message out there but you’re not sure what it should be, here’s some inspiration from B2B brands that we think have got their crisis comms spot on.
The helpful and reliable
We received an email from Canva with a practical option for sharing reliable content. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re spouting wisdom when you’re actually spreading misinformation, so it has templates with up-to-date information from the World Health Organization. The idea is that you edit the design of the templates and share them on social media. Although we think it’s better to use your own wording on social media posts for authenticity and a personal tone, Canva is providing a genuinely helpful tool. It responds to a real need, and we appreciate the to-the-point wording of the email. Phrases like “you can confidently share them without having to second guess yourself” answer valid concerns without overstating.
The award for clarity
We’re impressed by the clarity of Grant Thornton’s dedicated Covid-19 response page. It has clear links for information, a number of which are to reliable external sources, like the government website. Then it has this great ‘six key areas’ section with guidance on how companies should address focus areas of their business during the outbreak. The clear and well-informed guidance reflects Grant Thornton as a business. Even during times of great uncertainty, it has a steady hand and practical approach.
The content bringing us together
A number of businesses have done a great job in making us feel part of something bigger.
Velocity took the community spirit to another level with its ‘we’re worrying from home – you?’ newsletter, sharing insights from its team on marketing during the pandemic. In its own words, the content is a “howl into the void in the fervent hope that it’s not a void after all, but something far more precious: a community”, summing up how many of us may be feeling at the moment.
Grant Thornton is also making positive strides to build a sense of community with its series of webinars. Here’s the idea: “Our series of webinars gets you together with your peers to discuss how we can get through the uncertainty together.” For businesses feeling a bit lost during the crisis, this will no doubt offer some reassurance.
We enjoyed one particular blog from Procurious that explained why some of us might be finding the whole ‘working from home’ situation difficult (it has something to do with children, apparently). Did they have cameras in our homes? This content will ring true with many of us, creating common ground and helping to build a relationship.
Getting the tone right
Okay, BristolLife may be a local consumer magazine, but we had to do a shout out to a recent update because it’s a great example of a balanced tone of voice. No brand wants to make light of the current situation, but that doesn’t mean that we should adopt a serious tone for all our communications. Here’s a snippet from BristolLife’s email:
“Should we still be ordering takeaways? How about meal deliveries? What do we do if we’re deemed high-risk, but still need to go out to buy food basics? We’re feeling our way through; reinventing the world as we go along.”
It sounds friendly, frank and human, which is just the sort of tone that sits well with us.
To speak to us about your messages and tone during a crisis, call us. We can help you position your communications in a way that resonates with your clients.
Read our other Coronavirus resources here:
Communicating in the dark – Crisis comms you can’t plan for
The right words can make the world seem brighter