Crises, such as the global COVID-19 pandemic, are often ruled by unfamiliarity and loss of control. As we watch the current situation rapidly changing, we are witnessing increased pressures and demands on the healthcare and life sciences industries.

During this unprecedented time, we are here to support our clients — from biotech companies on the front lines developing novel vaccines and therapies to organizations managing operations, logistics and supply chains to keep clinical trials moving forward. Here are five tips on communicating effectively during times where there is a high degree of uncertainty:

  1. Be open and transparent

During stressful times, having open and transparent communications is key. It’s crucial to let your customers know what you’re doing to help them, so as to avoid adding more to their current workload. Providing clients with updates on safety and other measures your company is taking can further alleviate stress or confusion. Internally, communicating directly to and transparently with your employees can minimize the impact and strain of the current situation.

  1. Be direct

There are a plethora of ways to share information, and as more businesses shift to remote working solutions, people will be inundated with notifications, news and other communications. Therefore, companies should be concise with information and provide clients with any resources they may need. Taking a targeted, direct approach is especially important when working with the media. As we move through unprecedented times, targeting the right reporters with the right news stories will be integral in helping to keep the public informed.

  1. Be honest

Amid a crisis, there is often an abundance of misinformation being shared. Help your employees, clients and the public by sticking to your area of expertise and only contributing truthful, informative and expert information. As the crisis evolves, being honest and open can maintain your brand’s credibility and integrity.

  1. Be positive and understanding

Understand that everyone is experiencing heightened stress and emotions. Approaching the current situation with empathy can guide the way you shape communications. As such, positivity and patience are often appreciated in difficult times. When appropriate, sharing inspiring stories can strengthen internal and external relationships.

  1. Be available and informed

Clients are used to a certain level of performance and access to brands whether it's via social media, email or video conferencing. Having a monitoring system in place to capture any and all queries can assist with responsiveness. Staying up-to-date with the latest news is important to help you shape and disseminate communications as needed.

As we all move forward through this time of uncertainty together, upholding best practices for communications can help you provide the best service to your clients.