Assuring Our Communities
Published: March 12, 2020
We work with some of the most caring financial institutions in the country and quite honestly some of the most thoughtful, loyal and community-driven people. I sincerely believe it, and while staying positive can be challenging at times, I know these people can help drive community positivity.
Last week I sat at a conference where the luncheon sponsor delivered the most fear-driven speech I’ve heard at a conference. He paused for dramatic moments of silence, requesting the audience to flood their minds with fears of what could happen. He called on their imagination and pushed further. Then, he closed his comments with some features of his product.
This disgusting, irresponsible practice is used in media and product sales frequently, but in our industry, there should be no place for driving fear or panic.
As financial institutions dealing with incredibly difficult times, how do we help our community to be assured? How do we ensure we are here to be part or the community and not part of the panic?
Empathy needs to come across in every interaction, whether on the phone, in a press release or in a social media post. Every posture needs to be that of caring for and providing support to those who need it most.
Get ahead of the need.
Every communication professional knows they need to be ahead of news cycles, but the reaction is imminent. As hourly-wage employees begin losing work, layoffs are inevitable and families struggle during quarantines, the needs will become evident. Be proactive in planning for these needs and communicate to your customers that you are there to help them through this financially.
Communicate that you are here to help and be clear about your organizations next steps and available resources. You do not need to list every detail about the Coronavirus; however, you do need to share how you will help and how things may change in interacting with your business. Support change limitations with alternate solutions.
Obviously, one of the impacts is new SBA Lending opportunities and other offers for individual products. Ensure that your teams are educated on the terms of these changes and be clear and concise if you are offering help in terms of a product.
As always, I’m so grateful for all of you and your clear commitment to your communities. You are an encouragement to your communities.