And the Award for Best Pandemic Corporate Communications Goes To…

How many times have you seen and heard it? “We’re Grateful for You.” “Here’s How We’re Putting Safety First.” And of course, “We’re All in This Together.” To say that most everyone’s COVID-19 communications are starting to sound alike is an understatement. However, we have noticed several powerful and creative examples of communications, some of which we want to share with you.

Some of the most compelling communications we’ve seen are simply expressions of empathy and gratitude.We loved the communications campaign developed by McCann Belgrade to highlight the heroism of healthcare professionals on the front lines of the pandemic. Their posters placed in public locations worldwide made the pressure marks left by their protective masks look more like the masks worn by superheroes.

Law firm Taylor English has been helping its clients, employees and partners to cut through the clutter of information and misinformation by publishing a daily roundup of the latest confirmed COVID-19 related updates. Consistency makes these updates such a strong example of excellent communication. They’re published daily – and are reinforced by more detailed reporting on the firm’s website.  The content is fact-checked for accuracy and presented without bias. Together, these communications reinforce the firm’s brand identity as smart, responsive and trusted to deliver results.

Kuesel Consulting, a firm that supports accounting and professional services firm growth, offered a webinar in late March about business development amid crisis. The webinar included a clear-eyed look at the effects of COVID-19 on business development efforts and provided specific ways for companies to protect existing business, increase referrals, add value and build on brand equity. It coupled this valuable, un-salesy advice with additional value by enabling clients to earn CPE credit for attending. The webinar attracted more than 100 live participants and was recorded for later viewing.

Often, the best communications are expressed by tangible actions more than any specific communications vehicle. The Trader Joe’s grocery chain initiated safe practices for staff and shoppers early in the pandemic, providing masks for employees and disinfecting shopping carts upon return. They placed the brand’s signature flower at six-foot intervals on the floor at checkout to ensure safe distancing. The company also expanded paid sick-leave to encourage team members to stay home if they feel ill. The result was a combination of positive publicity in the media and reinforcement of its feel-good brand identity.

All of these communications accomplish direct communications goals – from brand reinforcement to audience engagement. And they do so in ways that cut through the clutter, sending the right messages to the right people at the right time.