As a professional communicator, responding to COVID-19 has challenged my professional habits and assumptions in many ways. In any other situation, the Barefoot PR team relies on preparation to help us get out in front of chaos, so the chaos won’t dictate our reaction.
This situation is different.
It’s difficult to prepare when there isn’t a model to follow or a way to predict what will happen tomorrow, or in a week or in a month. Instead of relying on our own time-tested experience, we’re reaching out and connecting with a wide network of others to share ideas, brainstorm new ways of communicating and to create a model for this new world.
Here are five resources our team has used to guide our work:
- Denver-based B:Civic has a running list of best practices, tools and resources. It also includes highlights from Colorado companies who are taking a stand, supporting their stakeholders and stepping up to the challenge.
- The Communications Network has done an incredible job gathering examples from foundations and large nonprofits. Their Comms4Good Google Sheet is open source and constantly changing. If you are searching for inspiration or a way to cut through the communications clutter, this is a great place to start.
- The Colorado Nonprofit Association has created groups on both Facebook and LinkedIn to connect nonprofit professionals and generate community-powered solutions. The conversations are helpful and the support meaningful.
- RTDNA, the national association for broadcast and digital journalists, has prepared a handy tip sheet to help prepare anyone being interviewed remotely. They also have a day in the life account of how the CBS4 newsroom in Denver is covering coronavirus. Worth a read! Local journalists are working overtime right now to bring lifesaving news our way – and some inspiration.
- As we consider storytelling in the COVID-19 era, one tested resource on framing helps us sort through the clutter. Framing is the practice of presenting the details of a story in a purposeful way in order to move your audience to action. We’ve prepared a Hall of Frames to help and we’d be happy to chat if you have questions on the process.
If you are a professional communicator, or you’ve been asked to serve in that role right now, I encourage you to lean in, learn from others and acknowledge the best solution for this moment isn’t always the proven solution.