COMMUNICATION IN TIMES OF CRISIS

By Lívia Caixeta

The moment of political and economic crises which Brazil is going through has shown, with various examples, the importance of communications in this context, be it in internal communications, institutional communications or, especially, in media relations. The examples are many:

  1. Social Media: good communications management can, for example, null or ease an image crises caused by a trivial situation which has gained importance and gone viral on social media.
  2. Media Relations:the generation of spontaneous media, through media relations activities, especially, is the cheapest and most effective manner to keep the client (the company, product, public figure) on the media agenda. Apart from this, if carefully elaborated, the suggestions of topics, get featured when they break away from the the factual news. With lighter approaches, however still informative, to some extent, they improve the routine of the end consumers, who are the viewers, the readers, the listeners, essentially, the citizens!
  3. Internal Communications: more than in any other moment, gossip among colleagues gains strength when a crises situation  – be it a management crises or a financial crisis – haunts a company. This adds up to the challenge of maintaining a team motivated when everything – work and private life – is not going well. Internal communication is a powerful tool to make the coworker an ally of the company and, with that, maintain the productivity on a high level.
  4. Content Management: keeping the communications channels up to date is fundamental and becomes even more important when there is a crisis. A good strategy aligned with a communications plan which, in its turn, is well aligned with the other departments of the company, helps in the diversification of blog posts, for example, or in the news that will be published on the corporate site. The greater the comprehensiveness of the publications, the smaller the risk of negative interpretations or polarization of the information.

 

For these reasons, before making cuts in the sum of money destined to communications in order to fit a smaller budget, it is important to evaluate what the impact of this action will be on the image, the engagement and relations of the company. Often, the underestimated communication turn out to be a lifesaver by serving as a tool for differentiation and credibility.

It is the communications strategies which will guarantee the visibility of the brand and the reinforcement of the positioning among the different audiences with whom you need to communicate.