How often does an event have such an impact on every single aspect of our lives, across the globe? And what is the likelihood that this single event becomes the only headline for weeks in newspapers, on TV and websites? This is exactly the moment for which communication departments in all kinds of businesses, organisations and governing bodies want to be prepared. For this, effective, accurate preparation is vital in order to protect your company’s reputation.

Coronavirus; no other global issue has had such a huge impact on our day-to-day lives in the past decades. It’s a pandemic in every negative sense of the word. But it’s a crisis we could have been prepared for, unlike, for instance, a terrorist attack or a gas explosion which happens out of the blue. And that’s what a few companies understood very well.

The business service provider BDO drafted a holding statement in advance; a clear text that could be communicated to the media if and when the first employee fell ill. This type of holding statement is prepared by a company in order to rapidly answer any media questions. How did the employee catch the virus? How is he/she feeling today? What measures has the company taken to prevent further infection? How will it ensure that its activities are not affected? In other words, this kind of holding statement gives the company’s communication managers the opportunity to think about the message they would like to share, in advance.

HR service provider Acerta also recognised that the coronavirus could hold opportunities. Companies specifically wanted to know about the practical consequences for their staff in the event of an outbreak. Whether working from home could be an option and who would look after the affected employees in isolation. We helped Acerta, which has the right experts in-house, to formulate a clear message which could be shared with the media. 

Energy supplier Eneco was also quick to realise that communication was of the utmost importance. Particularly when the whole country went into lock-down. Demonstrating empathy and matching action to words strengthens your credibility. We helped them formulate a text for the company’s staff, customers and sales partners. The text was then published on their website. Door-to-door salespeople, for example, were advised to stop their activities immediately. In moments like these, there is just one goal: to keep everyone healthy. That is priority number one.

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Sander Vanlouwe

PR Consultant

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