How do I communicate with my employees? My customers? My vendors?

  • During a crisis, it is important to keep messages concise and brief as possible while still sharing important info. Here are four steps to effectively communicate during a crisis:
    1. Gather the Facts. Understand the situation, its components, results and future implications as much as possible.
    2. Tell the Truth.
    3. Plan Your Communications.
    4. Build Communication Skill.

We at the Loudoun SBDC have put together a quick sheet you can use to prepare your communications. It covers the What (what do I need to communicate), Who (who do I need to communicate with – customers, employees, vendors, etc.) and How (how do I need to communicate – email, social media, website post, etc.). You can use this sheet to plan your communication and also keep track of what you are communicating and to which audience.

Download a Crisis Communications Planning Form

When you communicate, make sure you convey the following:

  1. We’re Aware – share that you are aware of what is going on and are continuing to monitor the situation as you make decisions for your business.
  2. We Care – show that you are thinking about the greater good of your employees, partners, and customers through all your decisions.
  3. We’re Here – communicate how your business is still running and how individuals can continue to work with you whether they are employees, partners, or customers.

Everyone is receiving numerous communications through email, social media, etc. so make sure to only communicate when you truly have something new to share.