When the key principles of crisis communication meet those of responsible communication. By Annelaure OUDINOT, Brand, Digital and Communications Director at Grenoble Ecole de Management.

An unseen, exceptional, complex, surreal, and tragic…crisis. All these adjectives have been used to describe the current situation. So how should we, “communicators”, position ourselves in this crisis?

What if, effectively communicating here and now, means combining responsible and crisis communication standards?

Here are 15 ideas on how to communicate “responsibly” in the current context:

  1. Don’t stop communicating, be dignified and humble in your messages.
  2. Inform your internal audiences first and explain all decisions taken by the organization regularly, ideally through a single spokesperson.
  3. Communicate usefully: giving simple, precise and meaningful information, ensuring you do not mislead recipients.
  4. Think – more than ever – people receiving your messages may be experiencing difficult personal and professional situations.
  5. Claim and prove your brand commitment through actions, not just with words and always with humility.
  6. Build on your strengths, your expertise, your brand, your purpose.
  7. Think of all your stakeholders and get them all involved: staff, managers, customers, suppliers, partners, circles of influence, the general public, etc.
  8. Do not oversell, do not over solicit and do not speak for others.
  9. Opt for digital and cognitive sobriety to counter information overload and over-solicitation.
  10. Allow opinions and emotions to be expressed and listen (really!) to anticipate expectations and to notice even the weaker warning signs.
  11. Create internal and external communication rituals.
  12. Manage the distribution of content through a central body and favor one channel per audience.
  13. Segment types of content: official information, useful content, lighter information, collaborative content, etc.
  14. Be calm and discerning. Do not give in to the communication whirlwind at any cost as soon or as one of your competitors communicates.
  15. Finally, and as always, leverage the fundamentals of communication: who, what, where, why, how?