Businesses temporarily closed
COMMUNICATIONS FOR BUISNESSES THAT HAVE TEMPORARILY CLOSED
Even when your business cannot operate, communications are vital for protecting your stakeholder relations as well as keeping your workforce informed and supported during this difficult time.
· Consider a staff handbook to cover interim arrangements. At a minimum, it should set out what is expected of them during this time, who they should report to if they need to, how managers will keep them informed on the situation and any IT or HR arrangements.
· Check in with the workforce on a recurring basis to keep them up to date with any developments. Even if there is no progress, say so. Regular updates will help people understand where they stand and reinforce trust.
· Staff may need additional support financially, a mortgage holiday for example. If possible, try and provide links to the support available to them from outside agencies.
· Who will you need to share the information relating to business closure with? Clients, customers, stakeholders etc.
· Consider what staff you will need to carry out these communications and if they are working remotely how you will manage this. We have provided some guidance on remote working here.
· How will you inform people? Consider:
o Website changes and social media posts
o Proactive media statement or prepared reactive media statements
o Any changes to mail box auto responses
o Stakeholder newsletters
o Information on business premises
o Individual briefing for key stakeholders
· The tone you use when communicating is key, especially if there is an emphasis on written communications. Think about what you are trying to achieve – are you reassuring, consulting, directing people? All these will require a different tone to ensure messages are coming across to your audience in the appropriate manner. Good tone choices will maintain good relations.