Coronavirus PR Challenges: Protecting People, Reassuring Stakeholders

February 27, 2020 2:33 pm Published by
Tentative calm. Potential panic. Outright crisis. The spread of the coronavirus continues to have an impact on millions around the world. While limiting the virus’ effect on people is the top priority, the potential economic impacts must be considered, too.

In the absence of facts and perspective, misinformation can spread across companies like an epidemic of its own. Most likely, your company’s stakeholders have already developed a view of the threat and, potentially, how effectively management is navigating the issue.

Audiences like board members, employees, investors, vendors, and customers are relying on PR and communications experts to provide clarity and calm. Here are specific PR measures to take in response to the coronavirus:

  • Gauge the scope of operations that could be affected. These could include business travel, public events, manufacturing sites, supply chains, performance goals, consumer demand, and access to markets.
  • Monitor and communicate relevant developments. Linking to the CDC website without context could overwhelm and escalate concerns. Instead, summarize and simplify pertinent details, citing only official sources.
  • Have a coronavirus-specific crisis plan ready. Ahead of the possibility of the disease gaining proximity to your organization or worse, consult with legal and security divisions so you’re ready to act quickly and with confidence.

Above all else, your stakeholders need to know their safety concerns are paramount. Be proactive, transparent, and responsive to demonstrate your company’s values.