Employee Communications ~ 12 min

Leveraging Sociabble for Effective Crisis Communication: The Role of Targeted Newsletters and Must-Read Content

A corporate crisis can take many forms. But with strategic communication, a company can keep employees informed and weather the storm.
Communication Team, Experts in Internal Communication, Sociabble
Communication Team Experts in Internal Communication

In the world of business, a crisis can take many forms, from public health concerns to natural disasters to a sudden spate of negative publicity. All of which can put a strain on the normal functioning of an organization. So what’s the key to weathering a crisis? Strong and effective communication, so employees get the critical information they need and that business can function in the safest and most secure way possible.

And two crucial tools to help make this happen are targeted newsletters and “must-read” content, both of which ensure that vital updates get through. In this article,we’ll discuss these two solutions and show how a communication platform like Sociabble makes executing them simple and effective. 

Understanding Crisis Communication in the Corporate World

There are moments in the life of every company when outside stresses put pressure on the normal functioning of its various departments. When these stresses are especially pronounced, in a way that potentially jeopardizes business, it can be considered a crisis. The Covid pandemic, extreme weather, a legal problem, a rush of negative publicity that endangers an organization’s reputation–any of these could constitute a crisis situation. 

During such moments, internal communications take on a fresh importance. Employees will often be confused, and possibly even misinformed about what is going on. Strong, clear, effective internal communication within the organization is essential to keeping employees aware of what’s happening, able to function, and in extreme cases, even safe from potential harm. 

But this kind of communication is easier said than done. Employees may be flooded by news and internet gossip, much of which is not always accurate. They may feel lost, and unsure of what steps to take; external communications may cause even more confusion. And it is not always easy targeting them and ensuring that they receive the updates that they need. Which is precisely when tools like targeted newsletters and “must-read” content come into play.

What is a business crisis?

A crisis in a company is a significant event that threatens its operations, reputation, or stakeholders, requiring immediate action to prevent or mitigate damage and ensure the organization’s survival.

The Role of Targeted Newsletters in Crisis Communication

It’s a simple truth: effective crisis communication hinges on the ability to disseminate vital information quickly and accurately–to external stakeholders, yes, but more importantly, to an organization’s own employees. During a crisis, every second counts, and the way information is shared can significantly impact the outcome. This is where the Sociabble platform’s targeted newsletter feature becomes a crucial tool, and part of a company’s crisis communication plan.

Utilizing Sociabble’s Targeted Newsletter Feature

In a crisis, generic communication is less effective. Accurate information must reach specific groups within the organization who are affected by or can act on the crisis. Sociabble’s targeted newsletter feature enables companies to create customized newsletters quickly, directed at specific employee segments. This precision ensures that relevant information reaches the right people without causing unnecessary alarm or confusion.

Strategic Advantages in Crisis Situations

  • Timelines: In a crisis, delays can exacerbate problems. Sociabble’s streamlined process allows for rapid creation and distribution of newsletters, ensuring timely updates. Pre-existing templates and real-time translation options mean that newsletters can be made quickly, and will be understood by all.
  • Relevance: Employees receive information that is directly pertinent to their roles, locations, or situations, which increases the likelihood of the content being read and acted upon. Newsletters can be personalized or targeted by department, role, etc.
  • Clarity and Consistency: By using a single platform like Sociabble, companies can maintain message clarity and consistency across all communications. Newsletters branded in company colors and logos mean that employees know where the proper information is coming from, each time the organization communicates through this channel.

Crafting Effective Newsletters in a Crisis

During a crisis, the content of a newsletter must be clear, concise, and actionable. It should avoid jargon and present instructions or information in a straightforward manner. The use of bullet points, headings, and bold text can help highlight critical elements. Including links to more detailed resources or contacts for further assistance is also beneficial as part of the organization’s response.

Real-life Applications and Case Studies

Practical examples of how targeted newsletters have been used effectively in crisis scenarios can provide valuable insights. For instance, companies used Sociabble’s newsletters to guide employees through the Covid-19 health crisis, providing safety instructions, updates on office closures, or resources for assistance. One company even relied on Sociabble during a cybersecurity breach (more about that later), using targeted newsletters to inform specific departments about data security measures and immediate actions required.

In short, the role of targeted newsletters in crisis communication is pivotal. With Sociabble, companies can ensure that critical information is not only disseminated swiftly but also reaches the appropriate audience, which can make a significant difference in managing a crisis effectively. The use of this tool demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being and operational resilience, key factors in maintaining trust and stability during challenging times, when an organization’s reputation is at stake and leaders must respond quickly.

Branded Mobile App Newsletter

The Power of Must-Read Content During a Crisis

In times of crisis, ensuring that critical information is seen and understood by employees is paramount–the first priority. This is where Sociabble’s “must-read” content feature becomes an invaluable asset.

Why? Because it helps organizations ensure that essential communications are not lost in the shuffle of daily information flow but are prominently visible and recognized for their urgency and importance. Sociabble makes this possible, rendering “must read” content a critical component of any crisis communication plan. 

Understanding “Must-Read” Content on Sociabble 

“Must-read” content on Sociabble is designated as high-priority information that demands immediate attention from employees. This feature ensures that crucial updates don’t get buried under routine communications. During a crisis, this tool can be used to highlight safety protocols, emergency contacts, operational changes, or any vital information that requires immediate employee action or awareness.

The option is there so that the content always stays at the top of the feed, and also presents with mandatory click capabilities to make sure employees select and read the update. Here are things to keep in mind when crafting a “must-read” message as part of your crisis communication plan.

Strategies for Making Content Engaging and Noticeable

  • Clarity and Concision: During a crisis, messages should be clear and to the point. Avoiding unnecessary details that can dilute the core message is crucial.
  • Visual Cues: Using bold fonts, colors, and icons can help make the “must-read” content stand out. Visual elements can quickly convey the urgency and nature of the message.
  • Accessibility: Ensuring that the content is accessible on various devices, especially mobile, is critical, as employees might be away from their primary workstations during a crisis.

Examples of Must-Read Content in Crisis Situations

The type of content classified as “must-read” will vary depending on the nature of the crisis. For example, during a natural disaster or health emergency, “must-read” content may include safety advisories, policy changes regarding remote work, or guidelines for maintaining a secure workplace.

In contrast, a technical crisis like a data breach might see “must-read” content focusing on immediate security actions employees must take, such as changing passwords or securing sensitive data. This should be considered as part of your crisis management plan.

Leveraging Multimedia and Interactive Elements

In a crisis,engagement does matter. Even “must-read” won’t get the message across if employees don’t pay attention and respond. Luckily, there are easy ways to grab employees’ attention via internal communications. To ensure engagement, incorporating multimedia elements like short videos or infographics can be more effective than text-heavy communications.

For example, a brief video from the CEO addressing the crisis can provide a personal touch and reinforce the seriousness of the message. This video can be pushed as a “must-watch”. Interactive elements like quick polls or acknowledgment buttons can also be integrated into crisis communication messages to ensure that employees have read and understood the information.

Obviously, during a crisis management scenario, the ability to convey critical information effectively can make a significant difference in outcomes. Sociabble’s “must-read” content feature is designed to ensure that such information stands out, encouraging prompt attention and action. This feature, when used effectively, can significantly enhance an organization’s crisis internal communication strategy, ensuring that every employee stays informed and prepared to respond to the evolving situation.

Measuring the Impact of Internal Communications During a Crisis

Effective crisis management is not just about disseminating information; it’s also about understanding how that information is received and acted upon. This section focuses on how organizations can measure the impact of their internal communications throughout a crisis, particularly using Sociabble’s tools and features when crafting an appropriate response. 

Tools and Methods for Measuring Engagement and Reach

  • Analytics Dashboard: Sociabble’s analytics dashboard provides real-time data on how employees interact with crisis communications. Metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and time spent on content can give insights into engagement levels.
  • Read Receipts and Acknowledgement Features: Sociabble has features that require employees to acknowledge they have read and understood critical communications. Tracking these acknowledgments can be a direct measure of the content’s reach and impact.

Feedback Mechanisms and Their Importance

  • Surveys and Polls: Implement post-crisis surveys or polls via Sociabble to gather employee feedback on the effectiveness of the communication. This feedback can provide qualitative insights into how well the information met the employees’ needs.
  • Comment Sections and Discussion Forums: Encourage employees to use Sociabble’s interactive features when a crisis hits, to ask questions or provide feedback on crisis communications. This can offer a deeper understanding of employee concerns and areas that might require further clarification and the latest up to date information.

Adjusting Strategies Based on Analytics and Feedback

  • Identifying Areas for Improvement: Use the data collected to identify what aspects of the crisis communication worked well and what areas need improvement. This might include the clarity of the messages, the channels used, or the frequency of the internal communication.
  • Tailoring Future Communications: Based on analytics and feedback, adjust future crisis internal communication strategies. This could involve changing the content format, using different channels, or modifying the message tone to better suit employee preferences and needs when a crisis occurs.
  • Reiterating the Value of Measurement: Conclude by emphasizing the importance of not just internal communication during a crisis but also measuring the effectiveness of that internal communication. This cycle of communication, measurement, and adjustment is key to continually improving crisis management strategies.

This approach to measuring the impact of internal communication throughout a crisis ensures that organizations are not only proactive in their initial response but also adaptive and responsive to the ongoing needs and feedback of their employees.

Sociabble as an Internal Communication Crisis Communication Tool: A Case Study

Cybersecurity is an issue that can cause a crisis in virtually any industry, even those whose origins are far removed from the world of internet technology. Pierre Fabre is a French pharmaceutical and dermo-cosmetic group created in 1962 and based in Castres, in the south of France. Around the world, the group employs nearly 10,000 people in 43 subsidiaries, marketing medicines, family health products, and dermo-cosmetics. In 2021, the group had sales of €2.5 billion in 116 countries.

However, on March 31, 2021, despite a highly secure IT system, the Pierre Fabre Group suffered a cyber-attack with a ransom demand. As a precautionary measure and in accordance with its protocols, the company’s IT system was immediately put on standby to prevent the virus from spreading.

Fortunately, they were able to rely on their Sociabble platform to weather the storm and navigate the crisis. Due to the nature of Sociabble’s “Software as a Service,” their “Blue Voice” Sociabble IC platform, which had only just been deployed in the Group, was neither affected by the attack nor interrupted. And it was on Blue Voice in fact, on a dedicated channel, that numerous announcements were made to employees: guidelines and best IT practices in infographics, and a Q&A accessible to all. When it came to crisis management and crisis communications, Sociabble filled in the gaps and kept employees connected.

While many internal resources were still difficult to access, the situation in the weeks following the cyber-attack helped Blue Voice gain recognition and momentum. Thanks to the consultation data accessible in real-time, the Communication Director was able to check each day the state of knowledge and awareness among employees regarding instructions and updates. In effect, their Sociabble-powered internal communication platform allowed them to pass on critical information, ease employee concerns, and successfully get through the crisis.

What is an effective crisis communication?

Effective crisis communication is the timely and accurate dissemination of information to stakeholders during a crisis to manage perceptions, mitigate damage, and guide response actions, emphasizing transparency, accountability, and reassurance.

A Crisis Management Team Can Rely on Sociabble to Keep Employees Connected

A business crisis can indeed take many forms. One thing that never changes, however, is the importance of clear and effective crisis communications, to keep employees informed and safe under any circumstance. Sociabble is a platform that facilitates precisely this kind of communication, with crisis management features designed to ensure that the workforce is always aware and engaged with what is happening at the company.

If you’d like to learn more about how Sociabble can help your organization, we’d love to show you with a free demo. We’ve already partnered with companies like L’Occitane, Coca-Cola CCEP, and Primark to enhance their communications, and we’d be happy to discuss ways we can do the same for you.

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