The feeling of limbo created over the last few weeks can be overwhelming for organizations. As you prepare to reopen, you might hesitate to say anything to your clients. The stress is real, and it is tempting to retreat completely.
Unfortunately, that’s the opposite of what you should do. It is important to get your business in order and take time for self-care, but don’t go completely silent. It can seem counterintuitive to say you don’t know what is happening next. Even more so if you’ve always positioned yourself as knowledgeable and organized. It is completely okay to show this vulnerability.
Remember, we are all facing the unknown. It’s okay to acknowledge that. We’ve talked before about communicating effectively in times of change. Many of those strategies are still applicable now. There will be different comfort levels — we know that, but your audience(s) will still want to know your plan.
Here are five ways to make the most of these uncertain times:
1. Nurture relationships with your audiences. Instead of going dark, continue to provide value for clients. Make use of existing channels like a newsletter or social media. Educate clients about your industry, tell your story, or provide a bit of light in a dark time.
2. Create new vehicles that help you connect with your clients. If you are a brick-and-mortar business, this may be the time to get your website up and running. If you always felt you needed an email newsletter, now is the time to make it happen.
3. Check in with internal audiences. Talk with your employees, volunteers, or partner organizations. Now is a good time to determine what they will need when reopening happens. Be clear in your messaging and responsive to their questions and concerns.
4. Collaborate with others. Look for opportunities to connect with organizations that share your values. Reach out on social media and provide support and encouragement during their reopening. Or consider starting a group project. Do you own one of many businesses in a strip mall or shopping district? Consider pooling resources to create a strategic communication campaign. Or start a new initiative with an organization with similar goals. This sense of community will benefit your organizations for years to come.
5. Put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to share content. You have many ways to provide value beyond the services or products you offer. People connect with people, not logos. This is a great time to share past results, profile employees, or share a bit of personality.
If you have questions or need assistance creating an integrated reopening strategy, please reach out. Have you been in a situation that required a temporary closure for your business? Please share your thoughts and experiences below. We would love to hear from you!