Specialist Sefiani services for the COVID-19 environment

Since the World Health Authority declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the world has changed. The known unknown is causing differing levels of anxiety and fear across society and the financial markets.

It is clear existing ‘business as usual’ issues and crisis management plans are unlikely to work in this rapidly unfolding humanitarian, economic, corporate and economic emergency. The companies who can innovate and adapt quickly by finding ways to make life easier for clients and customers and effectively communicate with them will be best positioned for recovery.

Sefiani has established a COVID-19 rapid-response crisis communications team, on call to our clients and other organisations in need of assistance 24/7. Our team consist of a number of Australia’s leading crisis management experts along with former journalists and government advisers.

We are now all in a fast-moving situation and it’s important that organisations communicate with prudence as employees, customers, partners and the general public will be taking their cues from businesses leaders. Plans should be lean, agile, simple to understand and show humanity. What we do know is that there will be waves of peaks and troughs, which organisations won’t necessarily be able to control, particularly as governments and health authorities update their advice, but what we can predict is the communication stages some of our clients are likely to face and will need to carefully consider. They are:

Stage 1: Demonstrate care and outline the precautions being taken in a clear and factual manner

Stage 2: Determine how the business needs to adapt to remain strong

Stage 3: Announce measures to show what the business is doing to support its employees, even if redundancies are necessary, its customers and wider society while staying financially strong

Stage 4: Identify opportunities for commentary in your area of expertise to help other businesses during these unprecedented times

Stage 5: Plan now for the road to recovery

Given the responsibility businesses and organisations have to their stakeholders, we have put together a list of easy-to-use solutions we hope you’ll find helpful.

Remote-based media interview skills and message delivery training

Given the growing business-contingency concerns about senior executives venturing outside offices or home, Sefiani has introduced an online media interview skills and message delivery training with our expert trainer and former TV journalist Christine Heard. To ensure the training session is highly tailored and time efficient, it’s run on an one-to-one basis for 90 minutes. Using our robust video conferencing facilities, Christine conducts the training from Sefiani’s office where she provides coaching to a participant via computer screen. During the training, Christine will cover:
• Your company’s media policy in light of COVID-19, and what to do if a journalist calls you directly
• Answering ‘easy’ questions (statement, explanation, example)
• Answering difficult questions (bridging technique)
• Skills for over-the-phone and Skype interviews
• Message delivery coaching
• Interview practice

Say it through rapid-turnaround videos

With the immediate challenge of remote working and keeping employees and clients informed and engaged, we believe the best solution for business leaders to communicate is through video. We have partnered with a trusted provider so clients can self-record videos from their laptop cameras, with each video, from the moment a recording commences, sitting on a secure platform that only we and our editors can access and edit. If needed music, graphics, basic animations and styling can be added with a 24-hour turnaround. If a video is urgent we have the flexibility to speed up editing and can securely host our clients’ content, which can then be uploaded on to websites, intranets, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts with ease.

Webinars – engage and take your message wider

Given employee, client/customer and business partner and intermediary face-to-face meetings are a no-no, we have looked at webinar options our own clients might like to consider and we recommend GoToWebinar. In addition, the service is currently offering a seven-day free trial. It’s easy to plan and invite audiences to participate, with automatic reminders going out to maximise virtual attendance. There’s a practice mode so business leaders can rehearse their presentations before going live, sharing PowerPoint presentations and passing to a different host if required. Depending on the fee option selected, the audience participation numbers can range from 100 to 1,000. GoToWebinar also provides information on those who attended so follow-up can be easily undertaken.

Manage your COVID-19 crisis response

Sefiani has recently partnered with Noggin, an Australian provider of business continuity, emergency and safety management and crisis management software now used widely by organisations throughout Australia and internationally. You can find out more about Noggin here. Having researched automated crisis management platforms thoroughly, we like Noggin’s 2.0 Crisis platform functionality and user-friendly interface for guiding a company-side crisis response. Right now, we thought you might be most interested in Noggin’s Epidemic Response Module, its purpose-designed solution for helping organisations manage their COVID-19 response. Through our close relationship with Noggin we are able to extend an offer to organisations to use the Epidemic Response Module free of charge for three months for up to 20 users. To install this platform, simply request it through the link above and type in SEFIANI in the promo field.

And of course, for help in planning and executing communications related to COVID-19, feel free to get in touch with the Sefiani team.