Every organization creates content with the hopes that it will be shared and spark important conversations among its audience. And ideally, every piece of content shared will be designed to communicate its message as clearly as possible. While it is true that all information has value, some conversations have more at stake than others.
In a crisis, every communication, whether it be to employees, customers, or the general public, is crucial. How do you ensure that your communication remains clear during times of immense difficulty? Here are four fundamental rules for crisis communication to help you stay on track.
First, key information must be easy for all to comprehend. Individuals of all backgrounds need to understand your message, regardless of their reading comprehension level or if English is their second language. For clear communication, it is recommended to write at or below an 8th-grade reading level. Keep lengthy sentences to a minimum, and don’t use complicated words or industry-specific jargon.
Say Something Useful
Next, read through the first draft and track how far into the message your audience must read to find precise, practical, and helpful information. Crisis communication should not be fluffy. Be harsh in editing and cut out any unnecessary sentences. Additionally, use caution if using the phrase, “We’re here to help,” or any variation of it. While it may sound ideal, it is an ineffective statement unless you also provide specific details on how you’re going to help, as well as how your audience can access that help.
Focus on Your Audience
In times of a crisis, your organization should not be the highlight of the message. Resist the urge to introduce irrelevant company facts in the opening paragraphs of the memo. Instead, focus on the information that is a “must-read” for your audience. How has the crisis impacted their situation? What are their immediate worries and needs? Make an effort to connect your communication with these questions, and your message will be more powerful.
Call to Action
In uncertain times, all readers will share in an urgent state of mind. And without a clear call to action, your audience may be wondering what to do next. When drafting your message, concentrate on the steps you want your audience to take after they’ve read and comprehended your statement. Compose a call to action that reflects the urgency of the situation.
inWhatLanguage Understands Crisis Communication
During a crisis, all individuals need access to the same information quickly; don’t neglect the needs of limited-English speakers. inWhatLanguage offers on-demand translation for stressful situations. With on-demand translations, you can ensure faster turnaround times without sacrificing quality content. If you are interested in learning more about our services, contact us today.