A MODEL 90-DAY COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM

 

-During and In the Aftermath of the Crisis-

 

Unique and ongoing communications challenges raised by the COVID-19 crisis have left many companies on unsure footing with their stakeholders. The global scale and rapid onset of this “new normal” raises immediate questions about the effectiveness of continuity and disaster recovery plans, as well as how firms are responding to unforeseen business challenges and opportunities.

This program addresses actions to be taken in each of the first four weeks and months two and three.

WHY NOW?

Firms that confidently communicate through difficult times tend to be the ones that are best remembered when the initial crisis recedes.

Throughout our 40-year history, Makovsky has helped companies navigate uncertain and volatile national and global events. We guide clients through uncertainties to create a platform that is flexible while being strategic and thoughtful in communications. The goal is to:

  • Demonstrate business continuity
  • Provide employees with confidence and a clear vision for the path forward – even if that path is in flux
  • Strengthen client/customer relations
  • Build demand in a down economy
  • Establish a strong platform for long-term growth

Our long-term experience and current client work concerning COVID-19 and federal funding provides the basis for our firm’s 90-day model communications program.


90-DAY MODEL OUTLINE

The Makovsky 90-day program is a model for how you can support your company during the COVID-19 crisis and initial aftermath.

  • Rapid, intensive assessment of immediate and long-term communications needs and how the company needs to be positioned in the current environment
  • Develop proactive and anticipated reactive communications strategies/key messages across media, digital channels and virtual forums
  • Evaluation of current internal communications needs and messaging
  • Proactive media relations and digital channels that reach your key targets
  • Monitoring for media coverage, digital engagement and assessing response
  • Identify and confirm spokespersons

GOALS AND DELIVERABLES

Short-term Goals:
  • Position your organization as a leader in its area during a time of anxiety and uncertainty to demonstrate:
    • Business continuity
    • Visibility for your products/services
    • Support for communities, employees, partners, customers and others
    • Market organizational and executive leadership

 

Long-term Goals:
  • Position company as one that continued to deliver on commitments to key stakeholders during a time of crisis
  • Position for growth in the aftermath
  • Demonstrate or support increased demand for products/services during a down economy

 

Deliverables
  • Stakeholder map to prioritize stakeholders/audiences for COVID-19 related communications. Stakeholders may include partners, customers, employees, investors or other critical targets.
  • Issues/opportunities map for the near and long-term impact
  • Spokesperson identification
  • Key messaging
  • Internal/External communications 90-day plan
    • Earned media plan
    • Social media calendar and content
    • Executive social media
    • Analyst/investor communications
    • Customers communications

 

STEPS TO DEVELOP THE 90-DAY COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS PLAN

The following outlines an estimated schedule and for a 90-day period.

 

Weeks 1-2 – Triage:

  • Virtual meeting with relevant company executives to understand near- and long-term communications challenges
  • Identify spokesperson/people for media relations and/or public statements
  • Prioritize immediate communication gaps and needs
  • Prioritize and develop or redline messages holding statements on key issues on business continuity and corporate developments, such as:
    • Essential services, wellness, health and other issues
    • Retraction or increase in service/product delivery
    • Workforce changes/new hires
    • Charitable initiatives
    • Analyst/financial markets
    • Key services designed to support partners and stakeholders during crisis

 

  • Identify core communications channels for program:
    • Traditional media
    • Social media
      • Mainstream business press
      • Targeted and relevant trade media
      • Broadcast

 

  • Establish reactive media protocols for COVID-19 and other related inquiries. This includes identifying the best spokesperson for each issue, and how to handle a potentially intrusive media inquiry
  • Establish or update monitoring regime for media coverage/social media channels for related issues. This includes audience and sentiment analysis to determine the reach and tenor of engagement and coverage

 

Weeks 3-4: Continuing on

  • Next round of positive messaging to promote company’s role delivering to its key stakeholders (and if relevant, the community) through the crisis
  • Thought-leadership and original content focused on:
    • Resolving issues presented by crisis
    • Analysis of factors presented by crisis within specific markets or verticals
    • Pinpoint business continuity issues
  • Identify and develop necessary proactive communications:
    • Press releases/media statements
    • Internal communications
    • Relevant digital copy
  • Engage on digital channels
    • Corporate website
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook
    • Emerging virtual forums

 

Months Two and Three: Continued Visibility and Preparing for Aftermath

Continuously refine and revise messaging in accordance with developments in news and business

  • Maintain ongoing monitoring of media and digital channels
  • Execute on proactive communications strategy as needed
  • Reactive media relations concerning any emerging inquiries or issues
  • Identify opportunities for company to be positively featured post-crisis

 

To read more about the Makovsky 90-Day Covid-19 Communications Program, visit our website at www.makovsky.com.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this model program and providing counsel and assistance if needed.

 

Makovsky is an award-winning integrated communications firm headquartered in New York City with global reach through IPREX in 30 countries.

 

thought leadership

Contact

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New York, NY 10017
212.508.9600
[email protected]

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Washington, DC 20036
202.753.5032
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