June 25, 2020

Leading Through Crisis: Communications Lessons and Opportunities

by Ellen Mallernee Barnes in News

“Keep calm and carry on,” stated the British government to boost morale and prepare its civilians for attacks during World War II. That authentic message has transcended generations and is now being used as a mantra for mental strength as we continue our battle against COVID-19. Finding the right message and striking the right tone are what help us act positively together.

While we may not be able to carry on as normal, carry on we must. Leaders are under enormous pressure to find the right words to communicate in a way that balances optimism with brutal reality. Boardrooms (real and virtual) have become war rooms, where leaders must speak to how our companies will stay aligned to ideals around purpose, as well as how we plan to keep the wheels turning. We must not only lay out the grim economic outlook and recognize the continued human tragedy but also provide a road map through it. And since this crisis is touching employees in ways that are deeply felt, our capacity for empathy and compassion is critical.

At Red Havas, we believe that how executives behave now as leaders, and as humans, will set up brands and businesses for their greatest chance of success and growth post-pandemic. As such, there’s never been a better time for leaders to hone our communication skills. Doing so will serve you and your company well in the midst of the coronavirus, as well as in the new business-as-unusual normal that will emerge from this crisis.

Within our new white paper, we’ve identified seven imperatives for leading through a crisis and have brought them to life with examples of how top executives are demonstrating best practices for communication during the COVID-19 crisis. Download the “Leading Through Crisis” report now.