South Africa: Communicating Trust in Uncertain Times

opinion

Our natural instinct is to reassure those affected in a crisis. However, over-reassuring does not build confidence. Nowhere in the world do people feel reassured that the Coronavirus is under control.

It's here. The coronavirus (Covid-19) has landed on our shores and it's spreading.

Like most crises, the belief is "it will not happen to me", despite the high probability that it will actually happen. But, every country, company or individual will experience a crisis. It is in the management, however, of the issue or crisis where trust is built or destroyed, confidence is garnered or eroded, bonds of affiliation are cemented or resented. Bad communication at times of crisis results in more reputation damage than the virus itself.

Building a mature and credible public alliance is how trust is built. It may be worth revisiting the principles of communication when dealing with a crisis, whether by the Department of Health, government or corporates who will have to consider a response to the virus.

Our natural instinct is to reassure those affected in a crisis. However, over-reassuring does not build confidence. Nowhere in the world do people feel reassured that the virus is under control. Not even in a country...

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