As we all know from monitoring the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, the virus is setting its own timelines. We are in a moment that is uncharted and unfamiliar. It’s hard to digest what is happening at any given moment, much less predict what will happen tomorrow.

Most of us are now united in experiencing some form of self-isolation protocol: restricted travel, vastly decreased in-person connections and a deeply impacted economy. With this unprecedented disruption, we at Mitchell have identified three macro themes that can guide any communications strategy in times of crisis. Because we realize that inaction is not a sound strategy during this time.

Local Matters

We are experiencing a global pandemic, but its impact is local. Community and connectivity are at the core of America, and smaller communities are feeling the immediate shocks from COVID-19. Our roots have taught us that local matters, and local matters even more right now. This is where people turn to each other, trust each other, guide each other. We are seeing our clients make decisions at a local level, and it’s having a tremendous impact in the communities they serve. Today, local context is critical for building brand credibility and setting the stage for recovery and brand love.

Listen and You Will Find Opportunities

The one constant is that things will change. What mattered two weeks ago may not matter today, and what matters today may already be old news tomorrow. Companies need to have an always-on mindset, reassessing every communication and activity for their clients. They should be asking themselves, “Is this action right for this moment and this context?” Opportunities are plentiful, but agility and nimbleness are the keys to capitalizing on them. Brands must think with a nimble mindset if they want to retain relevance.

Put People at The Core

Most important, you must put people first. We agree the pandemic has thrown brands into disarray, but we believe the convergence of empathetic, human tone delivered with authenticity and transparency will still win the day. It has to be real, folks.

Careful attention to these foundational elements keeps us focused on creating the right message for each situation. Every aspect of creative and communication strategies matters even more today, when it takes decades to build a brand but seconds to destroy it. No one is exempt. Today’s events are proof that every brand, every company must have a crisis communication strategy at the core of their business.

Read more about Mitchell’s crisis capabilities.