This practical guide will help you improve your employee, customer and partner communications during the Covid-19 crisis.  Covering the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘how to communicate’, which ‘channels to use’ and some useful examples, create a better experience through effective communications.

Guide Content Links

  1. Identify your target audiences
  2. Communicating with your Employees
  3. Communicating with your Customers
  4. Communicating with your Partners/Business ecosystem
  5. Evaluating your communications



1. Identify your target audiences

During a crisis people need information and reassurance and it’s important to understand that you have different audiences with different needs. Your target audiences are: 

  • Your employees 
  • Your customers 
  • Your partners & business eco-system; vendors, supply chain, shareholders, financial backers, industry regulators and others 


2. Communicating with your Employees

Employee communications during such an uncertain time should not just be focused on providing information and updates but should also extend to the human elements and show empathy. 

Covid-19 crisis lockdown affects on people


Communications should be attentive to employees’ well being, promote physical safety and good mental health. Business leaders must be open to collect ideas, concerns and sentiment.

What to communicate 

Explain how the current situation is impacting the organisation and explain what responses are being put in place: 

  • Contingency measures 
  • Strategic decisions and priorities 
  • How operations will be managed 
  • How teams will organise to make adjustments to routine business activities. 

Communicate the introduction of new ways of remote working 

  • How any necessary training will be conducted 
  • How any applications that are needed will be setup 
  • The type of environment required  
  • Explain any new policies around security and data access 

Working remotely during the Covid-19 crisis

Advise on new arrangements for teams, projects and tasks: 

  • Key priorities for teams and individuals, setting goals and planning 
  • Projects/campaigns being redirected, postponed or adjusted 
  • Roles and responsibilities for tasks and projects in the new environment 
  • How you will capture and clarify new requirements and proposals 
  • The process for how you will discuss new ideas and make decisions 
  • How you will share content
  • How best to communicate on task-related questions 

Explain how performance will be managed: 

  • Monitoring progress 
  • Providing on-going feedback 
  • Clarify and track commitments 
  • Check accountability 

Advise on the support available for remote workers and how best to stay healthy and how to stay safe”:

  • Setting boundaries between work and private life
  • Structuring a work routine and sticking to a schedule 
  • Having regular breaks 
  • Avoiding distractions and procrastination 
  • Going outside (but in line with the Government’s measures

Mindfulness during the Covid-19 crisis

Advise on ways for employees to collaborate and interact with each other (especially relevant to employees who live alone):

  • Connecting team members 
  • Facilitating creativity
  • Creating alignment 
  • Virtual social bonding 

Don’t forget to advise on how you will manage any recruitment and on-boarding going forward.

How to communicate  

Communicating regularly is paramount. Use a language and style that all your employees can comprehend. Show compassion in your communications.

Ensure that your communications demonstrate that leaders are visible, accessible and in control. They should come across as credible, trustworthy and able to build resilience.  

A guide for Crisis Communications: Communications style

Leadership communications must be clear and transparent: be clear about what you know, what you do not know and what you are doing to learn more. You should show that leaders are following the situation and adjusting their responses as they learn more.  For leadership communications ensure there is one source of truth. 

Managers should also speak with their teams and reports daily (schedule regular meetings) to keep an on-going connection and morale high. They need to, motivate, lead and create a sense of belonging.

Examples of Employee Communications


A guide for Crisis Communications: Employee Communications example


Employee Communications guide example

Channels to use

Whilst there is a wide range of channels for employee communications, it is important to be clear about the role of each platform and what you are trying to achieve.  

There should be a mix of more formal and informal channels: 

  • Emails, newsletters and similar are for “important” or official communications, Covid-19 related updates, security/safety/compliance/travel/leave policies 
  • Video conferencing and other “in person” tools are for team meetings, informal chats and coffee breaks or water-cooler conversations, creating engagement, discussing and making important decisions, addressing personal issues 
  • Messaging on internal communications platforms are for quick decisions, sharing content and contacts, notifications, communications around specific projects, campaigns, tasks, keeping momentum  
  • Project management platforms are for assigning projects, tasks, roles and responsibilities, monitoring progress



3. Communicating with your Customers

With the customer journey shifting in many sectors from an off-line or partial digital experience to a full online experience, you need to map the new journey touch points and review your communications accordingly.  Communications need to reassure your customers that you are reacting to the crisis and leading a way forward. Also, that you have not forgotten their needs and appreciate their loyalty.

What to communicate

Communicate how the Coronavirus pandemic is impacting the way you do business with regards to:

  • How you will be doing business going forward
  • Delivery processes and times for your products or services
  • Processes for how customers can buy, pay and return them
  • How you will be providing customer service support
  • Supply chain disruptions impacting your product or service availability
  • New policies you have put in place
  • Hygiene measures you have introduced
  • What changes you are bringing to the customer experience
  • How customers should get in touch with you

You should also reach out to your customers to give answers to their most frequently asked questions, concerns they have raised and problems that have been experienced.

How to communicate

Use language and tone of voice that make your communications easy to read and understand. In such difficult times, you must keep your communications very clear, especially if you are introducing new policies.

Interact regularly with your customers to keep them engaged. Be specific and avoid empty waffle: customers are receiving lots of emails from businesses, so they do not have time to read long communications.

Make your communications easy to scan using headings, sub-headings, bullet points and bold font.

Example of Customer Communications

A guide for Crisis Communications: Customer Communications example

Customer communications example

Customer Communications guide example

Customer Communications example  Customer communications guide exampleCustomer Communications example

Channels to use

Use a wide range of channels like email, website and online customer service support, social media, mobile (text messages, WhatsApp, apps), chatbot, streaming, telephone or video conferencing.


4. Communicating with your Partners/Business ecosystem

The Coronavirus pandemic is very likely to affect your partner relationships and your business ecosystem. Therefore, you need to adjust your communications accordingly, especially with regards to content and channels.

What to communicate

The new circumstances require that your partners are informed and kept up to date on:

• How you will be managing business with them going forward
• What changes you are introducing and how you will make them work
• What disruptions and other problems they may expect from you, and what solutions you are putting in place
• Contract termination or suspension; agreement revision
• Policies and other special measures you are implementing

How to communicate

You should keep your communications clear, concise and to the point.

Example of Partner Communications

A guide for Crisis Communications: Partner communications example

Channels to use

Use a wide range of integrated channels like online platforms, social media, mobile (text messages, WhatsApp, apps), chatbot, streaming, telephone or video conferencing. For policy changes or any legal contract changes use a more formal written channel.



5. Evaluating your Communications  

Monitor your communications with each different audience type to assess: 

  • What channels work best for your different types of audience
  • What channels create the most engagement
  • Effectiveness of the messages
  • Efficiency and effectiveness of your communications processes
  • Correlation between communications and business outcomes 

Also define who in the business will be measuring the ‘what and how’. Make any insights actionable points and identify who will action them. 


If you need advice or help with Communications or any other aspect of Digital Marketing, talk to our expert, Gianluca Bregoli.

Gianluca Bregoli