During tough times, the words of a classic philosopher can help put things in perspective.
For those who have been long familiar with his works, the great Ferris Bueller comes to mind:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
As you sit dressed for a “day off,” but are far from enjoying an actual vacation, think about how fast life has moved. Stop for a second a look around, beyond your tiny corner of the world. So much has changed, so quickly.
We have had conversations with clients in the past few days that could never, under any circumstances, have been anticipated. Life changed on a dime.
It’s worth remembering that change can only be understood and accepted through clear, honest communication. It’s something we have been helping clients practice around the clock of late. For the foreseeable future, it should be considered more than just a priority. It’s imperative.
A week ago, we were all flooded with emails from consumer-oriented companies telling us that they admit that the virus exists and they had access to links from the WHO and CDC. We were supposed to be impressed. This week, it’s a whole different story. Real change is making its way through businesses and organizations of every kind. It’s under every pebble, in every nook and cranny.
If you have respect for your audiences, on any level, you have to communicate to them. No word salads. No jargon. No platitudes. Follow the fundamentals of crisis communication. Share facts. Provide whatever reassurance is possible. Express concern for people affected.
To do it right, you should involve at least one professional. That will cost money. It will be worth it. Afraid about money? Any professional worth a damn should work with you flexibly.
Stop. Look around. Communicate.
It’s time to speak for yourself before someone else speaks for you.