5 Tips for Communicating in Difficult Times

The global financial markets have once again sent shock waves to businesses and governments around the world, raising anxiety levels once again while driving down consumer confidence. Now is the time to strengthen the strategic communications of one's organization, rather than running away from it. Here are five tips I would offer to respond to this latest economic storm.
1. Revise and develop a focused communications strategy. That means touching base with your customers and stakeholders to understand their priorities and concerns.
2. Develop your strategy for reaching them with a unique selling proposition that fits their goals. All strategies need to be revisited on a regular basis. What worked in good times, may be just the wrong strategy for difficult or uncertain times.
3. Tailor your message. Ensure that your message isn't about 'you' but about 'them'. In a tightened environment, with declining share value,make sure that your messages offer solutions to your clients.
4. Be proactive. Through social media, earned media opportunities, special events, customer appreciation initiatives and focused advertising, step up your efforts to connect with your marketplace and community of interests. Remember, a lot of your competitors will be lowering their profile, so consider this a heightened opportunity to get before your customers.
5. Prepare the way. You have to till the ground before seeding it. So, get your communications planning nailed down, train your spokespeople in media interviews to benefit from that earned media, and train your executives and sales force in powerful customer presentations. And then...... get out there!

This is the time to be at your best and to sell your solutions to your customers.  Even if you have to work twice as hard to get half as much, a market shake-up such as this could be the proverbial ‘buying opportunity’ for your company and your services!

As Winston Churchill famously said, "I like to make things happen; and if they don't happen, I like to make them happen."

Until next time....keep an optimistic mindset. Your positive energy will be a tonic for difficult times.

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