I just listened to an excellent webinar from a company called MCI USA titled "COVID-19: Communicate Empathically, Plan Strategically," with Brittany Shoul speaking from a sales and partnerships viewpoint, and Rachel Dillion on member services.
It was fairly basic but in a good way—meaning that they clearly laid out positive strategies for working with your audiences at this special time. Here are some key takeaways.
Focus on the gap methodology. The plans that we all put in place two weeks ago aren't the plans today. And who knows what the future will bring. Focus on the middle. Our key stakeholders are experiencing a level of uncertainty that we're all experiencing. There's a place now between the current state (unarguably not great) and the future state. Make the most of the time now.
Have conversations with your customers. Shoul and Dillon said that the natural inclination at this time might be to withdraw, but ...
In the novel Emma by Jane Austen—and in the film that's out now—Harriet Smith shows Emma a letter of proposal from Mr. Martin, a farmer. Not realizing at first that Mr. Knightley helped him with the letter, Emma is quite "surprized" by the strength and style it commands.
"There were not merely no grammatical errors, but as a composition it would not have disgraced a gentleman; the language, though plain, was strong and unaffected, and the sentiments it conveyed very much to the credit of the writer. It was short, but expressed good sense..." (In the movie, we even see how short and neat the letter is.)
I bring this up because in an article on CNN last week, Todd Rogers, a professor of public policy at Harvard University and chief scientist at EveryDay Labs, wrote that there is a problem with the way organizations, schools and airlines communicate in crisis times like this. Above all, they write too long.
"...if t ...