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News & Press: DCIIA News

Communicating During the COVID-19 Crisis

Thursday, May 21, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Karen Witham
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To access additional resources related to COVID-19 -- including member knowledge centers and industry press coverage -- visit our related news story, COVID-19/Coronavirus Resource Links.

Communications Resources

CDC Communication Resources

Segal Benz Coronavirus Resources

PR News Coronavirus Communications

Ragan COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Crisis Comms Triage Kit

Communicating Through the Coronavirus Crisis -- HBR

DCIIA Communications Task Force

Our Communications Task Force has discussed ways our members are communicating internally and with clients during the pandemic. We've highlighted some tips and additional resources below.

Tip #1: Focus on frequent, clear, concise communication

Erring on the side of overcommunicating during a crisis can help to avoid confusion and the misinformation trickle-down effect, especially when it comes to internal communications.

As Communications Task Force Chair Megan Yost, SegalBenz, notes, "Employees want and need to hear from leadership frequently during a crisis—especially as things are changing rapidly. This crisis is impacting employees in so many ways—personally and professionally. Recent federal legislation is impacting the benefits and resources available to employees. Additionally, benefits leaders need to make sure they’re letting people know what medical, emotional, and financial resources are currently available to them. All of these items are very much in flux for employees, so it’s important to communicate regularly and centralize information in one place that’s easily accessible to employees and their family members."

Tip #2: Be mindful of your message tone and timing

Marketers are trying not to overwhelm clients who are receiving communications from multiple providers on a daily basis. In addition, no one wants to appear tone-deaf in their messaging during a pandemic. Take the time to be extra thoughtful about message content as well as when and how you're communicating.

Tip #3: Aggregate, summarize, and explain

Help your audiences understand what is happening by aggregating useful information into one share-able email or website. Provide summaries to help people feel informed without having to wade through pages of information. Add value by enlisting experts to draw conclusions and make sense of what is happening.

Tip #4: Provide context

Dip into your communications archive to see what was communicated during past crises -- are there pieces that can be easily updated and re-issued? Provide historical context to help provide perspective and revisit key lessons learned in the past. People are living in moment-by-moment headlines right now, so helping your employees and clients step back and think about the big picture could be helpful, and perhaps reassuring, at this time.

Additional Resources

What to Tell Your Employees About the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Their Benefits -- SegalBenz, March 09, 2020

A practical guide to employee communication during COVID-19 -- WillisTowersWatson, March 18, 2020

COVID-19 Resources -- IABC

Are we over-communicating COVID-19? -- Ragan Communications, March 25, 2020

Investor communication in the face of Covid-19 -- IR Magazine, March 19, 2020

Communication tips for the Covid-19 crisis -- Investment Executive, March 23, 2020

COVID-19: Now is the Time to Have a Clear Internal Communications Plan in Place -- Financial Executives International, March 19, 2020

Visit the Task Force page to learn more -- anyone from a DCIIA member firm is welcome to join this or any DCIIA committee.