Friday, May 8, 2020

Communicating through isolation fatigue

Isolation Fatigue

By Susan Finco, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Now that we are into the second month of stay at home directives…you are starting to hear about isolation fatigue. It is very real. And it also applies to communication.

You need to remain focused on good communication, with your employees, clients, vendors and community. Whether your business is open, working remotely, temporarily closed or closed indefinitely, you must remember that as a leader of your business, people want to hear from you.

But you cannot keep using what have now become – in less than a month – tired, old phrases. It is easy to identify those phrases because they’re the ones that immediately came to mind when I said “tired, old phrases.” Do these sound familiar?

“We’re in this together.”
“In these challenging times.”
“In these unprecedented times.”
“The new normal.”

Instead of relying on clich├ęs or sharing information your audience has heard over and over, focus on what is happening right now with your business – and what you’re doing to keep people safe.

Let them know you understand this is stressful. Share what resources you have or know about if they are feeling overwhelmed. If you are working on reopening plans, share what you know or are thinking at this point. Ask for feedback; find out what will make your team and customers feel comfortable when you do reopen.

Above all, communicate regularly. It doesn’t have to be lengthy and it doesn’t have to be daily, but it does have to be consistent. It’s OK if you don’t have all the answers, feel free to say that.

People know things can change day to day, but they want to know you are thinking about them and how to move forward.