We are Online More Than Ever: Are You Communicating?

Over recent days, the team at Tanner Friedman has blogged about the unprecedented changes local media is making to its coverage – with new collaborations and approaches unheard of before coronavirus changed the lives of us all.

But the limitations of our local media, including cuts and furloughs, underscore the importance of using your organization’s own communications tools and platforms to continue to keep your audiences informed, reassured (when you can) and engaged.

Videoconferencing app downloads have soared over the past couple of weeks with estimates of more than 62 million downloads from March 14-21, 2020.  Most social media platforms are reporting double-digit percentage increases across their offerings since social distancing guidelines have been put into effect.

With such proliferation in connectivity, organizations that have embraced a multiplatform approach can continue to amplify the work they are doing directly to those hand-raisers hungry for information and normalcy. And if your organization hasn’t placed a high premium on digital communications, increased attention in this area is a must now more than ever.

Examples from organizations of all shapes, sizes and scope have emerged in creatively using their resources to maintain open lines of communication. Here are a few from Tanner Friedman clients and others.

Nonprofits like Gleaners Community Food Bank are using their websites and social channels as hubs for assistance information (including distribution sites), community updates and donations to maintain essential aid. Samaritas, a human services nonprofit, is conducting virtual training for its foster parents and hosting parent chats to maintain channels of support. Still, others are organizing virtual events in lieu of in-person fundraisers and conducting support groups through video chat so individuals can continue to cope with the challenges they face.

Businesses are outlining service transitions and operations on social media, sharing information they may have relied on regional or now-shuttered community newspapers to relay. Realcomp converted significant “real estate” on its website and direct-to-subscribers communications to help REALTORS navigate a landscape in which face-to-face business interaction, a historical mainstay, cannot operate in typical fashion. Government agencies and member organizations are using phone message systems in new ways to keep community members informed in reimagined town halls.

So please, get creative and use all of your organization’s digital platforms (or build new ones as you can) to fill in the communications gaps that may have been taken for granted before now.

As business colleagues, community members, friends and family, we all need one another through this tumultuous and uncertain time. Adversity has often been the greatest generator of ingenuity, and if we can find ways to stay connected, we can be stronger together.