I imagine like me you have lost count of the amount of times you have heard someone says these are unprecedented times. We all know, they are. Communicators are under significant pressure and we have only made it through week one. It is important that we try to use the time now to prepare for the long haul. This means looking after ourselves and those around us, getting in extra help when needed, and ensuring we have some time away from the work demands.
After a period when I have been dealing with my own mental health issues, I am feeling a new sense of purpose being able to step up and offer some support. I have offered to support both the PRCA and the CIPR with their Covid-19 teams and will look at ways to support people within the industry. Dealing with emergencies and crises is something I have done for a long time and I just hope that the knowledge and experience I have can now be of use.
Over some time I have been writing a crisis communication book as I am passionate about ensuring that learning and experiences are used to help others. This is due to be published in about six weeks’ time. I hope to be able to share some sections from it in the coming days and weeks as they may be able to help communicators who have had to go from promotion to crisis management overnight.
One part of the book that keeps coming to mind is under the subheading “When there is no return to normal” and it says that some events that happen are just so huge that there is no return to normal because there becomes a new normal. At the heart of this is the need to take things a day at a time and not to put expectations on the future.
What matters now is that we take stock of where we are and what it means, gather all the latest advice and information and then work out a plan to take us through the coming weeks. A plan that will consider the people affected by Covid-19, the employees whoever and wherever they are, and will understand the consequences of decisions that are being made. Your plan must understand the people implications first and foremost. Getting through the weeks ahead is only possible if we unite together and focus on helping people no matter who or where they are.
Please get in touch if I can help or follow this blog as I will be posting advice and guidance when I can. Look after yourselves.