Cultivating Trust in Crisis: The Importance of Internal Communications

April 8, 2020

As the COVID-19 crisis rages on, many businesses are struggling to understand how to survive.

Weathering the storm of any crisis requires a business to do one thing: cultivate trust. Ford’s 2020 Global Trend Report found that 62% of adults agree that a brand’s ethical values and demonstrated authenticity attracts them to buy from them. Even more importantly, 67% of respondents agree that once a brand loses their trust, there is no getting it back.

This means that fostering a sense of authenticity and then proving it during a crisis is essential to maintaining and developing your client base. To do so you must develop consistent messaging that speaks to your values, and then you must back that messaging with consistent actions. The key here is well coordinated internal communications.

Crafting the appropriate messaging must begin with your company’s declared values. Staying authentic to your company culture, the messaging must address the ongoing crisis with sensitivity, and it must outline the actions your brand is taking to protect the safety of your employees and customers.

It is then imperative that all brand touchpoints speak to the same message, which will require you to address and update existing inconsistent messaging. You must identify and train key spokespeople, particularly company leadership, as the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer found 71% of employees agree it’s critically important for their CEO to respond to challenging times.

Employees are your best influencers, so ensuring they understand and are aligned with your messaging will safeguard against any leaks in your communication pipeline. To maintain their trust, you must show your employees the concrete actions you are taking to protect them.

Most importantly, your entire organization must work in coordination to act on the values at the core of the messaging you’ve crafted – proving them through every touchpoint, service or product you offer. By consistently showing your values, you can build trust and loyalty, which will buoy you through this crisis.

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