During any crisis, communication from a CEO drives perception of the company and serves as a source of guidance for multiple stakeholder groups. Done well, the content and delivery may impact how quickly an organization emerges. With the global pandemic an ongoing reality, and the added impact of a volatile economy, it’s a crucial time to think about the audiences who need to hear from you as conditions continue to evolve, as well as how and when you’ll communicate with them to achieve your desired outcome.
I recently spoke with my colleague, Stef Tschida of Tschida Communications, who lent me her expertise for this article. Stef advocates for a “no stakeholder left behind” approach based on best practices honed from years in corporate communications. By looking holistically at a company’s stakeholder audiences and crafting messages specific to each, a CEO and leadership team can manage issues, deepen relationships, and inspire growth even in a trying environment. Here are a few best practices CEOs can employ today:
CEOs should remember that, now more than ever, it’s time to listen first, ask questions to ensure understanding, and then take action to address their stakeholders’ needs. It takes at least seven times for stakeholders to remember your message—and that’s during normal times! Plan for more repetition and varied delivery during a crisis or pandemic. Visuals go a long way to help stakeholders quickly grasp your message and meaning – so use them.
While much remains uncertain about the future, your ultimate communication goals remain the same—to build and strengthen relationships with the stakeholders that contribute to your success. Happy communicating!
About our Authors
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Stef Tschida spent 15 years working in all aspects of corporate communications before starting her own communications consultancy. She helps companies with every aspect of clearly communicating with their key stakeholders to accomplish business goals. Stef has a master's degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Minnesota. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.