All companies, but especially small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need to start thinking of the PR implications of coronavirus (officially known as #COVIDー19) and any potential business impacts, risks or crisis scenarios.

Coronavirus Experts Share Advice for Informing Your Stakeholders

Questions your team might want to consider now as we prepare for an increase in coronavirus cases:

  1. Can your organization deliver at current levels if a percentage of your staff gets ill? What if an important supplier or partner is offline due to being affected by an outbreak?

  2. Do you have trained back-up for every role should your business be affected? Who will step in and are they prepared?

  3. How will you handle employee illnesses? Will you assist staff if they face extenuating circumstances? Employees may have to stay home due to illness or they may have to look after loved ones. If schools and daycares close, how will you support employees that are parents or grandparents?

  4. What if a customer or client contracts the virus at your location?

  5. What if your business is named in the news? Are you prepared to address concerns? Do you have a trained spokesperson? What is the chain of command for addressing concerns?

Should Your Brand Attempt to Insert Itself into Breaking News?

Please feel free to reach out to me for FREE if you have any questions on how to communicate this issue with your team.

PRSA has these tips from branding experts on how businesses should handle the potential crisis:

Safety, support, and education should be the priorities in a crisis and at the top of any list or plan of action. Now is the time to live brand values over profits and to show empathy and understanding, internally and externally. The wellbeing of employees and their families should always be a priority. Proactive and transparent education for the workforce and partners is required.

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