Communicating Effectively in a Coronavirus/ Pandemic Crisis Situation

HOW CAN I BE MOST EFFECTIVE WITH CLIENTS?

In 2020, people are increasingly seeking information digitally, including healthcare information about coronavirus (COVID-19). As many businesses in other states were preparing to close their doors under orders made by their government, WV Caring began preparing in January so that they could effectively take care of their community. WV Caring: 

  • Took precautionary measures in protecting its staff and patients
  • Provided education and training to their patients and caregivers

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Additionally, before any other healthcare providers in the state acted, WV Caring mandated their own work-from-home order for their operational and clinical staff and closed their resale doors to traffic.

Now, one of the last questions left was how were they going to continue communicating with their staff, patients and caregivers? After assessing our resources, InnerAction Media (IAM) provided a solution. Continue reading for a case study on communicating effectively in a coronavirus or pandemic crisis situation.

Table of Contents

Crisis-01

The Issue


WV Caring has already taken steps to protect its employees, patients and caregivers. The next step was to find a solution to communicate updates at any given time effectively. At IAM, we believe organizations can do this via a website, social media and through content such as blogs, graphics and videos. 

Clear Communication

On March 19, 2020, our team began working from home. As we typically are used to being able to speak with each other in the same room, we needed to find a solution to communicate all of the moving pieces and approvals during this time. 

InnerAction Media President Jim Matuga spoke to a group of local business leaders about crisis communication on a scheduled conference call. To learn more about communicating effectively during a crisis situation, watch the video.

Safely Executing Video Production Campaigns

IAM wanted to make a recommendation that the CEO of WV Caring address the West Virginia hospice organization's constituents, including caregivers and families of their hospice patients, hospital personnel, employees and the general public. IAM wanted to feature the CEO, Sonia Bailey-Gibson, on camera, as she is genuine, empathetic and caring. IAM wanted to develop an encouraging, informative video that positioned Sonia and the entire organization in a leadership role as the organization deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.  

IAM typically produces high-quality video messages featuring the people and heroes of WV Caring - their patients and families. These are done following a very intentional brand story process. Usually, the videos are produced in advance in controlled environments. Most of the time, the productions are done indoors. 

Therein lies the problem. With most companies not operating in West Virginia due to our governor's "Stay at Home” order, our IAM team members have been working remotely since March 19, 2020. And, having a video shoot in their indoor production studio wasn't a good idea in light of the contagious nature of COVID-19. 

Setting up a video shoot outdoors due to COVID-19Setting up a video shoot outdoors due to COVID-19

The Solution

The Solution


The IAM team thought if we could use the notion of "assess what we have and help people," we could come up with a solution, and we did!

backdropBackdrop, multi-point light kit (Kino Diva’s)

Communication Solutions

Our team took a proactive and simple way to accomplish our content communication goal by updating the messaging on your WV Caring's homepage. When updating messaging on your website:

  • First: State the obvious. Messaging should begin with pertinent information about your business. Importances such as whether your business is still open, and if so, what hours you are observing. 
  • Second: Offer words of encouragement to all and be positive. Make it about us as a people, not as a business. State how you know it is a hard time for everyone, but together, we can persevere. 
  • Third: Show your support and assurance. If you have the foreknowledge of knowing your business will endure, let your customers know that together, when the pandemic is over, you will again be there for them and their needs.

On social media, do the same! Additionally, our team recommends leveraging your content to develop more assets, such as social media graphics. But remember: 

  • Be Factual
  • Be Relevant 
  • Be Compassionate 

Video Production Solution

IAM realized that attached to their building was a recently remodeled covered porch. The porch could be repurposed as a "makeshift" outdoor video production studio - complete with backdrop, multi-point light kit (Kino Diva's) properly equipped Canon C-100 and teleprompter. We were set! We achieved all of this while maintaining our "social distancing" recommendation of six feet. 

video-solutionsWV Caring CEO, Sonia Bailey-Gibson

All equipment was frequently wiped down with Clorox disinfectant wipes and ample hand sanitizer was provided and used by all participants on set.

Properly-equipped-Canon-C-100Properly equipped Canon C-100

the-outcome

The Outcome


The video concept was pitched to the CEO on Thursday, March 26, 2020. The script was written and finalized Friday, March 27, 2020. The video was shot on Monday, March 30, 2020, at noon. The final edit was sent to the client and approved Wednesday, April 1, 2020. The video was then published the same day on numerous media channels, including: on their website under the special COVID-19 / CORONAVIRUS section, Facebook, Twitter and used in multiple-segmented email lists as well.  

Additionally, WV Caring's messaging is concise and is being heard!

the-conclusion

The Conclusion


By proactively understanding the client's need and assessing what we have and helping people, IAM delivered a meaningful, genuine, informative message from the CEO of a major healthcare provider - at a time when their audience needed to hear it most from a leadership voice amid a sea of noise. 

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