Organizations of all sizes grappling with the coronavirus / COVID-19 global pandemic have come to the realization that we are facing months, not weeks, of disruption and community lockdowns, likely followed by a worldwide recession. As I write this blog post, national and state governments are restricting all but the most essential business and business leaders are scrambling to adjust and craft their crisis response. Our customers are no exception.
After ensuring employee safety and well-being, our customers have been turning their attention to how they can serve their customers and employees during these troubled times. They have been posting important notifications both internally and externally, creating new content and product offerings, and increasing access and support for remote working tools. All with an eye on ensuring business continuity and a “not just survive, but thrive” attitude. Here are just a few of the actions they’ve taken:
As one of the leading intranet software platforms, Akumina has been at the forefront of the digital workspace movement all along. In response to COVID-19, their marketing team has been offering content and strategies to help organizations think through their digital workplace strategy in light of the global pandemic. They have paired new webinars and content with targeted emails and social media campaigns to provide their customers with new guidance and resources.
As universities and colleges across the country began to close down in early March, BNC had an advantage. They had recently launched a new employee portal and were able to respond quickly and effectively by utilizing their new intranet as the internal hub for their COVID-19 response for employees. Corporate Communications began by posting regular updates from the operations team and messages from senior leadership. When the updates became a daily feed, BNC added a customized news block to the home page spotlighting their COVID-19 content. When the volume of content became too much to handle in that space, they created a dedicated “COVID-19 News & Resources” page.
Los Angeles-based Stratiscope has been a long-time leader in the crisis response and community resilience space. Doing what they do best—convening stakeholders to brainstorm and drive solutions—they’ve just begun a twice-weekly, national Online Community Crisis Response Forum for business leaders. To help them get the word out, StitchDX created a landing page to facilitate subscriptions. We’ve since been helping them promote the forum through social media and email campaigns. (Stratiscope has also smoothly transitioned its regular monthly community events to virtual events, to the great satisfaction of regular event attendees.)
Based at UMass Lowell and the UMass Medical School in Worcester, the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center had just announced the finalists for its signature annual life sciences innovation pitch event, the $200K Challenge, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to postpone until October. In response, M2D2 is transitioning its finalist coaching/mentoring sessions to online, planning both virtual meetings and a series of quick and lively “Pitch Tips” videos. And to maintain engagement with potential event attendees, M2D2 will publish a series of “Meet the Finalists” blog posts.
Additionally, M2D2 has quickly transitioned its twice-weekly newsletter to provide its audience of life sciences startups and investors with news about funding opportunities for COVID-19 advances. Newsletters also include information about emergency small-business lending program and virtual educational events put on by M2D2 sponsors.
Essential COVID-19 business crisis response tactics for your organization to implement
If you care about business continuity over the near and long terms, then these actions should be on your “do it now” list at minimum:
- Website Home Page Content: Minuteman Trucks and Fletcher Spaght have responded to their customers’ concerns by posting information directly on their website home page. They are not alone; most businesses have posted some sort of information by this point.
- Digital Workplace Adaptations: Many of our customers have either modified their existing intranet platforms or repurposed existing structures to provide their employees with the information, access to tools, and guidance needed to safely and productively work from home.
- Email Campaigns: Akumina and Stratiscope have both promoted targeted COVID-19 content through specific email campaigns, segmented with audience-specific messaging.
- Social Media: People are taking to social media for information, connection, and support during this crisis. CoreView and M2D2 are among the many of our customers who have planned out campaigns of vetted content addressing COVID-19. Utilizing hashtags like #COVID19, businesses have both promoted their own content and reposted valuable content to their own feeds, informing their followers with content they may not otherwise be seeing.
- Increased Training: While many of our clients can adapt easily to remote work, some experienced the need to provide more and better digital workspace training for their employees. Webinars, videos, and how-to guides have been useful in reaching workers that may be used to working from their office desktop only.
What is YOUR organization’s COVID-19 crisis response?
In this unprecedented crisis, it can be hard to determine the best path forward—but you DO need to act. Begin with any of the steps outlined above or plan a whole strategy. But taking action now will have a huge impact in how your organization comes through this.
If you’re unsure where to start, we have ideas for you. Check out our targeted COVID-19 Rapid Response Customer Communication programs or just reach out and get the conversation started.