As communicators, we wear all sorts of hats. And, when we are called upon by our leadership to assist with a communication plan, it can be very exciting. If we are being totally honest, it can be a little intimidating at the same time. Fear not PR pros, here are three scenarios with tips to help you rise to the challenge.
1. When Communicating a Major Company Change
First, understand the situation from all points of view. Depending on the situation, employees can (and will) react very differently. Gather as much information as you can from your executive, anticipate potential employee questions or concerns, and be prepared with answers before you begin.
2. When Establishing Internal Support
Remember, face-to-face communication is always best for establishing trust and transparency. Rather than defaulting to a generic written statement in a mass-distributed email, aim to communicate big executive changes in person and give employees the opportunity to ask the leadership team questions. When in-person communication is not possible, take advantage of the technology at our fingertips and use live streaming to help mass distribute the message. This can provide a more personalized touch that’s not always possible with a written email.
3. When Coaching a Social Media Obsessed (and outspoken) CEO
Follow the discussion, read commentary, and engage in social listening to understand public sentiment. Knowing the public reaction to the CEO’s outspoken activity can help you report to the CEO how it negatively impacts the business, decreases brand perception, and ultimately the company’s bottom line. Moving forward, provide regular council and social media training to reinforce positive communication practices. While progress is being made, continue to listen to the conversations and monitor sentiment to report improvement metrics to the CEO.
The biggest takeaway? Do your homework, be prepared, and anticipate possible scenarios.