Five Ways Communicators Should Prepare to Reopen After COVID-19

How can we
help you thrive?

Do you value collaborative, creative, forward-thinking communication?

 

We’d love to hear from you.

It’s been a long and challenging 12 months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Many businesses have moved to remote work or a hybrid workplace model, while others were forced to shut their doors permanently. However, with vaccine rollouts across the United States on a fast track by the end of May, it’s getting easier to see a light at the end of the tunnel. For many employees following a long layoff, a return to normalcy will be anything but that so it’s important for organizations to be ready for potential challenges ahead when it comes to proper communications. If your business is one of many who might find cobwebs above your desk upon return to the office you’ll definitely want to consider some of these practices for a smooth transition as you prepare to reopen after COVID-19.

Update Your Crisis Communication Plan

If the pandemic has taught communicators anything it’s the value in a well developed crisis communications plan. Those that had a plan in place before the initial spread of the virus were better prepared to adapt quickly and identify ways to keep their business on track, while others were left scrambling. That’s not to say they were prepared for a full blown pandemic, but the direct punch was softened by the head start of a strategic plan. If you don’t have a crisis communications plan, now is the time to develop one to outline communication and response procedures for any dilemmas that may arise, because they will!

Who is the spokesperson for your organization? Who from your team needs to be included in the communications and approval process? What are your actions to address social media and mass media? These are all questions that should be answered in your crisis communications plan to avoid mistakes, missteps or miscommunication during the most difficult and sensitive times. 

Set the Right Tone

Fear and uncertainty have been common feelings throughout the pandemic, and the move to reopen could present the same for many people. It’s important for leaders and other communicators to establish a tone of remaining confident and vigilant. Carefully think through communications to your team, customers, vendors and other partners to ensure consistent messaging on all fronts to limit further anxiety and prevent chaos. 

In The Ghidotti Podcast interview with executive coach and leadership strategist Elise Mitchell, she suggests following Dr. David Rock’s SCARF model for identifying ways to better communicate with your team. It lists five social triggers as the most common reasons people get upset and lack the capacity to communicate well. Understanding how to think and respond under moments of pressure with a consistent message as you lead your team through a return to work following months of remote or hybrid work will go a long way toward setting the right tone and creating confidence with members of your team. 

Don't miss an episode of The Ghidotti Podcast!

We interview the influencers, culture changers and disruptors across the country to find out what makes them so successful. Join our eNews for the latest episode sent straight to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Clearly Define Safety Protocols

Safety is the ultimate priority when it comes to reopening your business following the pandemic shutdown. From your team members and partners to customers and clients, a feeling of safety is necessary for anyone who enters your place of business and that means clearly defining safety protocols. Not every business will have the same regulations and anything you put in place is subject to change over time, but it still must be widely established before reopening. 

Communicate with your team before setting any safety measures in place. Those are the people that will be spending the most time in your facility, so it’s important to ensure every member of your team feels safe and confident about returning to the office. Whether it’s a parent that has grown accustomed to their child staying at home or a team member that discovered a love for remote work during the pandemic, not everyone will be clamoring for an office setting, so consider a brief survey or questionnaire that encourages employees to share their own expectations for a safe return.

Be Nimble

Flexibility is one of the most crucial traits to have when reopening after COVID-19. Change has been the only constant throughout the pandemic and communicators must be nimble to adapt quickly to any other changes that are likely to occur. It’s impossible to predict the future, but by staying flexible, you’ll be able to change and deliver consistent communications at a moment’s notice. 

The ability to adapt quickly and efficiently is also necessary for your social media strategy. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other platform, one misguided post during your reopening can lead to a world of trouble for your brand. Implementing a positive brand voice and identity can go a long way toward establishing loyalty with your target audience, while preparation will have you ready for any potential crises that may arise.  

Focus on Your Customers

For some businesses, the pandemic provided much needed time to focus inward and implement new strategies and plans to ensure organizational success. While not forgetting any of the positive changes that were made during that time, reopening your business requires shifting your focus to your customers. This is the time to provide exceptional customer service and remind them of your commitment. Remember to look at your business through the eyes of your customer. How does your product or service answer a need or help them accomplish a goal? What are some creative ways you can help them rediscover your business after this time of dormancy? 

Maybe you host a grand reopening to gather loyal customers in the form of brand ambassadors to help spread the message. Or, perhaps you offer discounted prices to acknowledge that you understand the difficult year that everyone has endured. Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to put fresh eyes on your customer service strategy and listen to your clients to ensure that all of their needs are being met and you have their interests at heart.

McDonald’s

Marketing / Communications

We help one of the world’s best brands increase sales and guest counts through reputation management and content marketing that successfully maximizes paid media efforts.
 

Find out how.

Close

Request Your Guide to Ghidotti!

We’d love to start a conversation with you about how we can create results for you. First step? Request your very own Guide to Ghidotti to learn more about our public relations and content marketing firm. This is a look inside our agency and will give you a good feel for who we are, what we do and how we partner with our clients to move the needle.


Close

Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring a Senior Account Strategist! 

Senior Account Strategist

As a Senior Account Strategist, you will have expert-level project management skills and proven success with client strategy and relationships. 

Through research and continuous planning, you will integrate market trends, consumer insights and digital marketing-communications analytics into direction and growth opportunities.

You have an eye for viewing the whole picture and organizing micro activity into a holistic approach. In this position, you will play a pivotal role in the discovery process, helping to translate key research and data insights into strategy and presenting opportunities and direction to the client.

You are the Agency’s subject matter expert on your client’s industry, audience, unique challenges and needs. Your work is turning this knowledge into action.

Main Responsibilities

Client Management

  • Play a clear day-to-day role in client communications (Minimum: three clients)
  • Independently lead key client projects/campaigns
  • Advise on strategy, implementation, status and performance of public relations programs
  • Monitor and deliver work plans and activities for clients, largely independently
  • Work with external agencies and vendors to develop and create effective marketing-communications campaigns and strategies and ensure projects are on a budget, to spec and on schedule
  • Work with team members to develop and execute effective customer-focused marketing-communications initiatives via social media and digital platforms
  • Create and analyze key performance metrics and make recommendations for ongoing optimization

Content Creation

  • Research and creation of content largely consisting of press announcements, blog posts, gated content, web copy and thought leadership material
  • Develop and manage client social/digital campaigns, developing an early-stage understanding of overall client strategy

Social Media

  • Be advanced in all social media management and reporting tools such as Sprinklr, Sprout Social, Databox, etc. 
  • Organic social media strategy primarily focused on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.

Agency

  • Manage and/or mentor 1-3 junior staff and interns
  • Depending on the needs of the service area, responsibilities may extend beyond the items above as skill sets, client contracts and other extenuating circumstances dictate

Performance Metrics

  • Demonstrate industry experience
  • Develop client strategic plans
  • Demonstrate strategic thinking and planning 
  • Counsel clients on challenges and opportunities
  • Is resourceful in finding solutions for your client’s problems

Client Service:

  • Serve as primary client contact on multiple accounts
  • Execute on promised client deliverables
  • Maintain client relationships and annual retention
  • Prepare and manage client budgets and billing
  • Recognize new business opportunities and share with your direct supervisor

Agency Operations:

  • Assist in internal client planning meetings
  • Coordinate team resources for best client outcomes
  • Assist in planning time/resources for accounts (via ClickTime)
  • Assist in marketing the agency via implementation of strategies and tactics

People:

  • Motivate and lead account team members
  • Participate in a 360-degree quarterly and annual review process (with regular feedback loops from the immediate supervisor)

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience preferred
  • 5 years of experience in marketing communications, brand strategy and client management
  • Expert project management skills with high attention to detail
  • Experience with inbound/outbound marketing strategies, research and analytics, audience personas, content auditing and planning, consumer journey mapping, website metrics/best practices and strategy recommendations
  • Demonstrated success developing and implementing integrated marketing strategies and campaigns across digital and traditional communications channels
  • Deep knowledge of email, digital marketing, social media marketing and direct marketing
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Deep B2B industry expertise is a plus
  • Entrepreneurial with good business savvy
  • Good presentation skills in front of C-level execs
  • An unflappable, practical, proactive, mature approach
  • Creative, disciplined, curious, organized
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Not afraid to work hard, be humble, ASK questions and learn new things!

Rock Star Environment

We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

    Whether instructor-led, web-based or sharing during Fireside Friday, we are always learning more!

  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

    Quarterly adventures for the team!

  4. Winter Recess

    We shut this place down at the holidays so we can all rest, relax and reinvigorate for the new year.

  5. Work From Wherever Fridays

    Before WFH was a thing, we introduced work from wherever Fridays so our team members can relax in their pajamas before heading into the weekend, while still getting the important things checked off their list.

  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

To apply, please submit the following via email to careers@ghidotti.com

  1. Cover letter and PDF of your resume 
  2. References: 2-3 minimum
  3. Tell us how you heard about this position