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Keeping a close eye on your communications

While we are all adapting to doing business and maintaining close relationships with our stakeholders from a distance, there are, of course, some factors that make connecting and communicating with people challenging.

But maintaining transparency and compassion through communications can help you stay top-of-mind for customers, clients, partners and employees alike. How can you ensure this?

With an emotional cocktail of feeling threatened, uncertain and having a lack of control, people are reacting first and thinking later. This approach is not only detrimental in life itself, but also to your B2B marketing activities.

Self-isolation and working from home offices present B2B businesses with an ever-greater challenge to effectively communicate with its stakeholders as they batten down the hatches, go into panic mode and decentralize.

However, if you stick to two communications themes at this poignant point in time, you can ensure business success on the other side of all of this uncertainty.

The two themes are transparency and compassion. Here’s a quick overview of how they unfold in internal communications, as well as external communications.

Internal Communications:

The most effective communications start from within. Your employees are your brand ambassadors, so it’s important that they are kept informed. Communication can help to put their mind at ease, making external communications easier.

  • Communicate early and often. Even if the full extent of the situation is not yet clear, say what you know.
  • Be compassionate. Try and see the situation through the lens of your employees to understand their anxieties and respond accordingly.
  • Be open, honest and transparent to remain credible.
  • Utilize whatever technological resources you have on hand. Tools like MS Teams, Yammer and Skype are more important than ever. The more channels, the better your reach.
  • Demonstrate how and why decisions have been made, and what information you have used to make this decision (the latest government advice for example).
  • Let your employees know when they can expect a further update.
  • Keep the message succinct and straightforward to avoid confusion.

External Communications

  • External communications are different from internal. They are typically less frequent and messages are more refined.
  • In all messaging, put people first.
  • Shape communications to focus on what’s important to your customer. Understand their buyer persona to flesh out how doing business from a distance is impacting their role and business.
  • Be open, honest and transparent to remain credible.
  • Be compassionate rather than focusing on sales messages.
  • Keep the message succinct and straightforward to avoid confusion.

If you need help with your internal or external communications, we have extensive experience in writing them. And because times are tough, we have special offers to help you at this critical time. Get in touch with cylindr today.

Thanks to our colleagues at Fifth Ring for providing inspiration for this blog post.

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David Hoskin

I've helped B2B companies create and implement international marketing and communications strategies since 1999. I've been fortunate enough to work with some great companies and highly talented individuals during the years. But the game's changing fast. Although my aim is always to create pragmatic solutions that produce measurable results, there are always new challenges to overcome. I studied engineering and music and I have an Executive MBA (with Distinction) from Henley Business School, University of Reading (UK). Today, I'm a partner at B2B marketing agency cylindr and BBN International. Here on Integrated B2B, I want to share my personal opinions and perspectives on the changing face of B2B marketing. I hope you join in the conversation, too.