Our country is still working to make sense of the events in Washington DC on January 6th and many organizations are wondering how to maintain business-as-usual in a world already buffeted by almost a year of Covid-related disruption and tragedy.
This piece by Weber Shandwick, a global communications firm we know and respect, not only provides a succinct summary of what we all felt in the days following the attack on the U.S. Capitol, it also offers some very sound recommendations for communicators who are struggling to maintain contact with stakeholders, shore up confidence in our institutions and avoid unintended missteps in the days and weeks ahead. These suggestions below, are taken from Weber Shandwick’s larger article:
THIS IS A TIME FOR CEOs AND OTHER SENIOR BUSINESS LEADERS TO REINFORCE THE STRENGTH OF OUR DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS AND PROCESSES, AND THE RULE OF LAW, with their workforces, as well as in any public statements or conversations with media.
THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT GAP BETWEEN WHAT IS BEING REPORTED BY RESPECTED MAINSTREAM MEDIA OUTLETS AND WHAT IS APPEARING ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS on a variety of current events, from the election outcome and this week’s events in Washington D.C., to COVID issues and vaccine distribution.
ACCORDING TO MEDIA REPORTS, RIOTERS INSIDE THE CAPITOL USED TECHNIQUES COMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH TERRORIST GROUPS, communicating with each other and documenting their actions across online platforms. This demonstrates the challenge of combating online extremism in real time and during fast-evolving events.
CORPORATIONS WHO HAVE MADE POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS who supported President Trump’s effort to prevent the certification of the Electoral College vote may be targeted for criticism or boycotts by advocacy groups.
COMPANIES SHOULD REVIEW THEIR MARKETING STRATEGIES TO ENSURE THEY ARE SENSITIVE TO THE CURRENT POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT. In the near term, all marketers should continue to evaluate whether paid campaigns and pitches should be paused given current events.