The Covid-19 emergency has not only upset businesses and people’s lives; it is not yet clear what legacy it will leave us but we know that we will all learn from this. Com- panies were asked to review the planning of each activity in short time. In an initial phase, the seriousness of the situation was not clearly understood. The next phase, however, after the March 8 DPCM, suddenly confirmed that we had to expect a tsunami and so it was.
From the point of view of marketing and communication activities, I think that internal communication is strategic as never before.
It is an opportunity to make employees understand the value they have for the company, to strengthen that sense of belonging that sometimes in larger industrial realities and with factories located in various regions, we are missing. Naturally it is not easy to coordinate content at the moment. Because if initially we focused on health provisions, information to protect safety and health, then the last DPCM – the “Close Italy” – occurred and requested a complete change: now it is the time to reassure employees about future plans, those who will have to be activated to react to post-Covid19 and resume the interrupted path. Inside the company, the difference in perception of reality is evident between those who continue to work from home and those who are forced to stop. Those who work from home suddenly discovered that they are a “smart worker” and around this new condition a whole sharing of experiences, new rhythms of life and work is developing which means, a new way to contact with collegues.
…internal communication is strategic as never before.
On the marketing communication front, since there is no possibility of participating to fairs, events and workshops, traditional commercial relation tools need to be adapted. We must therefore change the way to stay in contact and promote our products. In this context, digital is crucial and essential. In fact, the moment we are experiencing, despite all the uncertainties, can be captured to make very targeted branding actions. Both on social networks and through email marketing.
This sudden crisis, the famous Black Swan (which, however, Taleb himself does not judge as such because he claims it could be foreseen), makes it clear that it is necessary to act with extreme flexibility to review communication plans almost continuously: to give an example, our social media editorial plan is in its sixth revision. The same applies to internal communication.
In terms of marketing strategies, which impact on the market and customers, much will depend on the evolution of government provisions in the coming days. Depending on whether the closure of production activities lasts it is possible to gradually return to normal, guaranteeing production and deliveries. In any case, an observation is a must: the companies already on the way of digital transformation also in terms of communication, have in their hand the right cards to play this very complicated game. Digital channels – from the site to social media, from newsletters to service platforms, not to mention intranets – are allowing companies to keep alive the link with their stakeholders. Only one exception on traditional channels: the radio, which offers the possibility to be close to people. And communicating your closeness is what companies need to do now.