Category

Communications

In Crisis Communications, Transparency is Key

By Crisis Communications

The worst messages in a crisis are those that are vague, provide incomplete information, and obscure the full message. These messages invite speculation. No, that’s not even the worst of it: they throw gasoline on the fire of speculation. Worse, still is when that message is posted on social media, where commenters behind the freeing veil of the internet feel empowered to invent conspiracies, to make accusations, and thrive on the attention created by the controversy.

Avoid this in a crisis by stating as clearly as you can what happened and why. If you don’t know something, say so. And then, explain that you’re investigating, looking into it, continuing conversations to learn more and (and this is critical) actually do that.

Sometimes there are legal reasons for not offering full transparency, and for that, make sure that your initial message is cleared with your legal team. Perhaps there is no initial announcement or message at all. This could be relevant in a number of scenarios. But when the time comes when your crisis must be shared and addressed with your community in a public-facing platform, be ready to be as transparent and as clear as you can. You’ll be glad you did, rather than spending your time battling the damage to your brand’s reputation, correcting misinformation, and arguing against untruths on a variety of platforms.

Facing a communications crisis now? Call a professional communicator or PR person if you lack an internal resource to guide you.

It’s Time to Adopt Gender Neutral Language in Business

By Communications

On January 6, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to adopt gender-neutral language in the official House rules and established a permanent Office of Diversity and Inclusion. From the article in Advocate:

The changes mean that the rules document will use language such as “parent,” “child,” and “sibling” instead of “mother,” “father,” “son,” daughter,” “brother,” and “sister.” It will also replace “chairman” with “chair,” “seamen” with “seafarers,” and “himself” and “herself” with “themself.”

It’s a small but significant move toward inclusion, recognizing both that nonbinary people do not use gender-specific language and that gender has no relevance in official government documents and proceedings. (These changes are for rules documents only: they do not prevent members of the House from using gender-specific language in other communication.)

Corporate communications should immediately begin to adopt these practices as well, setting the tone for individual businesses to support gender expansive team members as well as remove the burden of gender from hiring practices, promotions, assignments, and yes, pay. If removing gender from business communications is how we get to equal rights in the workplace, then let’s begin today.

 

Covid-19 Vaccines’ Massive PR Problem

By Communications

The speed with which Pfizer and Moderna developed and submitted for approval vaccines for the Covid-19 coronavirus is astounding. The vaccines have been approved by the FDA and trusted sources like the CDC and well-known scientists are urging Americans to get vaccinated as soon as they are able.  But even as the vaccines began rolling out first, to front-line health care workers and other essential workers, misinformation and doubt is beginning to spread.

African-Americans and other minorities are beginning to share a reluctance to get vaccinated, and who can blame them, when the spectre of the Tuskegee experiment still occupies memories?

The vaccines have a massive PR problem that must:

  • Correct misinformation, of which there is plenty
  • Reach people in their communities, through churches, neighborhoods, and even visiting nurses
  • Spotlight trusted individuals through public, televised and social media-broadcast vaccinations, to inspire confidence and change minds

It’s going to be a tough campaign, and like the Y2K campaigns that ruled 1999, the Covid vaccines campaigns will fuel the PR and communications industry for at least the year to come.

How to Share Changes to Your Business Due to COVID-19

By Crisis Communications, Social Media

Our clients are adapting as quickly as possible and we’re sure you are, too. To help you get the word out about what’s different about what you offer, here’s a quick checklist.

  1. Make sure you publish a note about the changes to your business on your website. It is the best place for people to find information about whether you are open and when, and what they can expect you to offer at this time. Make sure you include an “effective” date so people know when the changes took place. It’s helpful if you can easily make changes to your website yourself. If you need help with this, please let us know.
  2. If you don’t have a social media presence for your business yet, now is most certainly the time to establish one. With everyone but essential workers working remotely, we’re all eager to stay connected using social media.
  3. Use your social media channels to share both the link to your website where visitors can find out what changes there are to your business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and brief details about those changes. Share content about your team — there has never been a better time to put a face to and humanize your team, than a time when we all crave human connection and need to see that by engaging your business, you’re helping people in the community remain employed.
  4. Be clear in your message about the changes. Skip explaining why things are different — we’re all perfectly aware of the stay-at-home orders and the pandemic (link to the CDC site or other relevant information if you must) — and get right to the heart of what’s different. Lead with what you ARE doing during this time. Follow with what you ARE NOT. 

We hope these ideas are useful in your communications and as always, please let us know if we can assist.

How to Work with a PR Firm During the Pandemic

By Crisis Communications, Public Relations

Business has changed for just about everyone, including the team at Jaggers Communications. You may be wondering what a PR firm can do for you while you are under quarantine and everything is so dramatically different.

Here’s what we’ve been working on with our clients to help them through this most unusual time:

  1. Planning for emergency and crisis communications: No one planned for the pandemic, so for our clients, we worked on developing emergency plans for the businesses themselves, then the communications language needed to share those changes with customers, staff, and other stakeholders.
  2. Thinking through your pivot: As communicators, we are problem solvers. We were born for this kind of work. Let us put our creative skills to the test by working with you to discover what you CAN do to earn money while setting aside the work that you can’t (for now).
  3. Refreshing your web content and SEO: Projects that have been on the back burner, like refreshing website content and boosting SEO, are perfect for the WFH era. We’ll take a look at what’s happening with your online presence and get it working for you, even better.
  4. Keeping your team informed: It may be the most important element of your communications right now, and the hardest. We are available to help you communicate the hard decisions, the bad news, and even the hopeful stuff, as we continue to navigate through this global nightmare, together.
  5. Discovering your newsworthy angle: Reporters are covering COVID-19 24/7, and while news relevant to that is welcome if you have it, they’re also hungry for other news. We can think through what news you can tell now, and help coordinate a virtual interview or media opportunity.

We’re happy to help you continue your work, as we continue ours.