If you are like me, you are getting a lot of Covid-19 emails sent from your favorite businesses and organizations. I’ve read some good ones and some bad ones. So what determines which communications are effective and which are not? Here are some quick tips to keep in mind when communicating internally and externally during this crisis:

Keep it short and sweet. NO ONE has the time or patience to read page after page of information. Simply put-people are freaking out and dealing with a lot of drastic changes at work and at home. GET TO THE POINT quickly. Are you closing shop? Say that immediately and explain why. This is not the time for creative story-telling or delayed PR strategies. This is a crisis.

Make it Personal. This is a tough time for everyone and it’s okay to say that. Make sure your audience knows you are in this with them and are impacted too. Empathy goes a long way and no one wants to read a cold, detached corporate-speak communication, especially now.

Action Items. What are you doing to keep them safe? What is your plan? It’s okay to not have all the answers. Our situation is fluid and protocols are likely to change BUT what are you doing to minimize risk? How are you taking care of your customers or employees?

Allow for Feedback. People will have questions and it’s important that someone is available to at least attempt to provide answers. Set up a special chat room, call-in line, or email address for such inquires.

How you handle today’s crisis will go a long ways towards credibility and brand loyalty when this is over.