There is a lot of discussion about whether we are in recovery yet, are some of us there, are some still in crisis, and what does the future hold? This is the most challenging and complex crisis that the world has ever faced. We have all had a collective experience of Covid-19 and yet we have all had an individual set of circumstances. It means our stories are all personal and individual.
This is making the communication work around the crisis and recovery even more complicated than normal. In developing the communication activity and planning for the future it needs to be sensitive to views, perspectives and the mood that may be subject to change.
In my view we are not yet in recovery. There are lots of reasons why that I have written about in the past. But one thing that needs to be grasped is that the speed of our recovery will be different. It will be different for us as individuals and it will be different for businesses and organisations. Be clear that recovery will come because all things develop and this time will pass. We just cannot be sure when that is.
For some the recovery is unlikely to happen any time soon. Remember Covid-19 has not gone away, we are on the verge of an economic crisis the scale of which no-one has ever seen, and there are other crises that may hit us around the corner. This mix makes the world an incredibly complex case for communicators.
How can we navigate the road ahead? I have five things to remember about building a strong recovery:
- Be ready when the time is right – don’t run too fast with the communication about recovery if people are not ready to talk in that way. Recovery has to happen at its own pace don’t rush it.
- Do the thinking first – devote time to consider the roadmap for recovery well before you are putting the first foot on it.
- People are still most important – what matters most in both crisis and recovery is how we have treated people. Yes the economy and viability of businesses is important. But how we support and help employees, local people and customers is what will define how effective our response is.
- Have an open mind – recovery in this situation is going to be very closely aligned to change so working through the principles of change communication will be beneficial. It will mean letting some things go and approaching the future with an open mind so you can redesign something that will work in the environment we face.
- Be alert and ready – this crisis may be moving forward to recovery but there are other risks that may hit. Learn, develop and review your crisis communication plans and make sure you are ready to deal with the next issue. Being prepared is a huge part of building resilience.
Communicators have been working incredibly hard during the past three months and have done amazing work. Even those who have been furloughed or as freelancers may have seen their work reduced, have still been looking at what they can do, and designing for the future. This has showcased some of the best from the communication industry. Now is the time to take stock and start to move forward but at the right pace for both us and the organisation or business that we are supporting.
If you are struggling with developing and understanding recovery communication for your business or organisation get in touch. I have a free What Next? Recovery communication readiness guide that is available. I can also deliver a recovery communication package to help support and empower teams to face the future. Contact email@example.com