Communicating Well During COVID-19
To all of our clients, friends and supporters:
We believe that the stories we tell in the marketplace, especially at times like this, will have a definitive effect on our society. We want to help our clients lead well.
It's amazing how fast things can change.
It's humbling how little we control.
It's incredible what a crisis can do to heighten our awareness, sharpen our perspective and re-evaluate what's important in our lives.
Back in 2009, when we were facing a crisis of a different sort, we designed and distributed a poster offering advice and encouragement in the face of an economic downturn. Although COVID-19 presents a very different challenge to us today, the message we shared in 2009 is still remarkably applicable.
It is essentially this: Ora et labora.
Or, in English: Pray and work!
Though we may need to practice social isolation — we do not believe we are alone in this.
Though the concern over Coronavirus is huge — we do not believe we are without hope.
Though we control so very little — we do not believe that there is nothing we can do.
So we pray. And, for our team at least, we also keep working.
We have made it possible for our staff to work remotely. Several people on our team have chosen to work from home or elsewhere already. Further measures are being put in place to allow us all to continue working even in an event where we would all be ordered to stay home.
We are continually assessing our exposure to the Coronavirus — not just the virus itself, but also society's reaction to it and the economic effects this reaction may have on our organizations. Currently, our studio remains open for business, with client meetings happening virtually. And we remain busy helping our valued clients tell their stories with more clarity and helping them lead well in their particular area.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you help your clients and team navigate through these tough times.
Give each other permission to speak honestly about how you’re feeling. An effective way to deal with stress is to talk about it. Name it. Bring it out in the open. Let’s shoulder this together rather than trying to bear up in silence on our own. We all need a little encouragement. Keep talking.
Communicate with your teams and your clients. Keep them up to date on your thinking and on your decisions. For our clients in the landscape profession, by all means, remind people of the health benefits of spending some quality time outdoors — but please resist the urge to sell. Don’t exploit people’s fears and emotions in an attempt to satisfy your need to hit your numbers.
Be careful with how frequently you communicate. We’re all getting inundated with emails, information, updates, etc. If your message is helpful, send it. Try to share content that is specifically helpful to your unique audience. Review your previously scheduled social posts and remove or edit any that may be perceived to be in bad taste given the rapidly changing circumstances we find ourselves in.
...And Extend a Little Grace
Heed the advice of government leaders, community leaders and health practitioners. Extend grace to them too. They won’t get everything right. There’s no playbook for this. They’re informed by scientists and the medical community — and we have every reason to believe they’re doing the absolute best they can! Say a prayer for them. And listen to what they say.
If there is anything we can do for you at this time, please let us know. We’re here to help in any way we can.
Fold your hands.
Wash your hands.
Then put your hands to the plough.
We’re going to get through this. Together.
The entire team at Compass Creative
Written by Jason Bouwman, RGD
March 19, 2020