Here are my top four recommendations on how to approach the reopening from a communications perspective:
1. Contextualize tech within the reopening.
Businesses are evaluating all facets of reopening and how it will impact their industries. At this point, there is a great deal of opportunity to execute a robust thought leader concept tied to a tech platform, or how the existing solution can be part of the way forward. Additionally, innovation companies with perennial value can dive in and address what their market needs now more than ever.
2. Don’t ignore the obvious.
Maybe as a company you kept fairly quiet in your blogs regarding the impact of the pandemic. Maybe it was because the team was focused on unveiling a very important solution to its market, or because the team was short-staffed. It’s not too late to connect. We would recommend acknowledging how your markets are seeking new solutions in the context of transition. A company does not have to take a position on reopening (or the speed of reopening), but instead communicate that this is a new time. Any new offers or approaches in the context of the market should be integrated into the message. Make it a priority to address the new-new if you’ve been on the quieter side.
3. You don’t have to explain.
When COVID-19 hit, many companies explained the steps they were taking. However, the reopening is happening in a patchwork across states and communities. As a technology or professional services company, there is not an imperative to explain your company’s specific approach to reopening outside of the company – in most cases. What’s happening in Texas and what’s reasonable in New Jersey are miles apart. However, internally and for your employees, it is important to communicate the company’s expectations. As always, we advise approaching internal communications as if it will become external.
4. Don’t delay.
Tie-ins to the reopening are urgent, and we are in the midst of this shifting news cycle. If your company has an important set of solutions or vision to advance, our highest recommendation is not to delay. If you decide to bring in an outside PR expert, it will take at least several days to a week to fire up a PR program at scale. Reopening, mitigating the risks of the virus and managing the new-new is all happening very quickly in a highly fluid media and market environment.