One thing has become clear during the past month or so and that is the similarities that exist as human beings no matter where we may be. The pandemic has demonstrated the world is a very small place and we are all dealing with the same challenges.
It was brought home to me last night when I joined the Centre for Crisis and Risk Communications’ regular Crisis n’ Coffee online chat. The Centre is based in Canada and those taking part were from Canada, America and then me from the UK. What brought us together was a passion and interest in crisis communication, as well as wanting to share and discuss.
The politics, geography and culture may be different but there was so much that we shared in considering the communication response to Covid-19. There was the age old question of who should be put in to be the spokesperson at the start of the crisis, and should they remain or be replaced as things develop. There was discussion about what planning took place in previous years and what communication approach had been designed. There was the concern about how you continue to keep people interest, informed and supportive when they are in lockdown.
This is a global crisis and would benefit from a global response. At the moment we are heavily focused on dealing with our problems at home. But if countries could work together there could be a consistent response based on areas of need. It may sound idealistic but the virus does not respect borders.
Communicators have been used to working internationally and from early on there has been discussion across countries about the response to the crisis. The PRCA Taskforce has an international feel with representatives from a number of countries taking part. This is an important step and we need more of it. There is a lot to learn from what is being done in other countries, the problems, the solutions and the planning as the crisis looks set to continue for many weeks and months.
I was grateful for the opportunity to take part in last night’s conversation and will be check in again. This is a time when we need to come together to learn and tackle the common problem we face.