In recent months we’ve all seen the influx of emails from companies explaining their policies regarding COVID-19 and diversity. For many business owners this raised the question of when to send out official messages from the business regarding current events and positions on social issues.
These aren’t easy waters to navigate, but when making difficult decisions about how or if to communicate on certain topics, take time to consider the best path forward. You want to represent your business well and act in a socially responsible way.
Three Reasons to Communicate from Your Business
When deciding whether to send out an email, post on social media or add messaging to your website on specific current events, consider the following:
- Do you need to inform your audience?
Many businesses needed and continue to need to send information regarding the COVID-19 shutdowns, restrictions and polices. The purpose is to inform customers about changes to operations that impact the customer. For example, many businesses closed for in-person operations but continued to offer curbside service.
- Do you want to communicate regarding company values?
Many of today’s customers care about social issues and choose to do business with companies that represent their values. For this reason, businesses opt to share the company values with the public. For example, many companies sent out messaging regarding Black Lives Matter to express the company’s policies on racial discrimination and diversity.
- Do you want to support your customers?
We are living in unprecedented times of uncertainty. As such, business owners must decide when to show support for their customers. By acknowledging the challenges with racial disparities and other social issues, companies demonstrate empathy and support.
How to Communicate on Sensitive Topics
It is better to pause and send out a well-developed communication than to rush and do a poor job of communicating. As a guide:
- Be Clear
- Be Honest
- Be Respectful
A canned response doesn’t work. Offer communication that clearly states the company view or policy. Also, don’t send out messages you do not mean. If your company has no employees of color and you have no plans to integrate a more diverse culture, you should not communicate your support for Black Lives Matters in a token message. That is dishonest communication and doesn’t help your company image.
However, don’t let fear keep you from communicating positive or supportive messaging. Our current times create opportunities for businesses to establish trust, brand loyalty and authenticity with clients and customers.
Acknowledging a need for change and the steps you plan to take to make improvements in diversity makes great communication. The goal is to represent your business well, make positive changes and keep your customers informed.
Find Support with Expert Guidance
At Alliance Business Coaching, we offer leadership and business coaching to entrepreneurs, business owners and executives. We want to help you improve your business operations and incorporate better leadership strategies into your business.
We have experience working with businesses to address challenging transitions, like many are facing today. Contact Alliance Business Coaching to schedule a free coaching consultation.