Businesses in Latin America begin to revive after a period of business stoppage.
With the health emergency, there have been a series of adjustments in the corporate relationship, covering companies of all scales. After several weeks of activity stoppage, businesses begin to reactivate, which requires an adaptation to a new reality. Communication has valuable potential that can make it a strategic and effective tool to help business leaders reinvent their operations and engage in managing corporate relationships in this new stage.
Caty Di Maggio, Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Latin America at Brother International Corporation, points out that the communication helps business leaders to stay in touch with their main stakeholders and plan actions that will allow them to streamline their businesses. “The effective communication of information, messages and initiatives is vital for businesses to stay afloat, especially when they are going through a process of change,” says Di Maggio.
During social distancing, communication, as well as technology, allowed businesses in different sectors to keep their operations active. In this new stage, where online commerce and social media marketing are of great importance, communicating has never been more urgent. Below, we share tips from professionals on how to take advantage of communication to guide the management of your business during the economic recovery.
- Modify the communication purpose of your company: Social distancing and the gradual reactivation of economic activities demands a quick adjustment of strategies. For Paola Vallejo, corporate communication advisor for the agency Comunicandes, located in Quito (Ecuador), the current moment requires a rethink of relations with interest groups. According to the expert, in this health emergency, the recommendation to her clients is summarized in three steps: “listen more, tell positive stories and build collaborative communities,” she says.
- Define your business priorities : In a complex situation, the urgent prevails over the important, and the short-term vision captures most of our efforts. “Business leaders, during moments of uncertainty, need to look at the horizon through the window, at least once a day,” says Paola Vallejo. For the communicator, with experience in advising companies of different scales in Latin America, any challenging situation such as this current emergency is a gradual process that covers different moments. In this new stage of economic reactivation, it is important to trace the different scenarios and begin to develop plans, strategies and messages, to be forewarned and to act correctly in any situation, thus avoiding efforts to constantly “put out fires”.
- Establish effective channels to communicate: Technology currently presents a series of increasingly accessible facilities to meet the needs of business and communication is no exception. Thanks to various tools, most companies can continue to report on their operations and be close to their different audiences. One of them is social media. According to the results of the annual survey Pymes Vision, carried out by Brother International Corporation, in the countries of Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama In 2019, 68% of businesses mentioned using these applications. Today, this figure is much higher. For Graciela Dixon, member of the Brother Small Business Advisory Group for Latin America and owner of Project Wellness, a health and wellness services company, communication on social networks has played an indispensable role in this context of adaptation to change . “Social networks have allowed businesses to continue promoting their products and services, in addition to strengthening their digital positioning and innovating in aspects such as online sales,” says the Panamanian businesswoman.
- Take advantage of the potential of internal communication: In times of challenge it is easy to forget the most important audience: collaborators. In many companies, internal communication is not a formalized practice and during an emergency period its importance may be underestimated. When a collaborator is the last to know about a relevant decision, it would not only be counterproductive for the work environment, but the potential of the collaborator as a virtuous multiplier of messages to the most sensitive audiences would be wasted, especially at this crucial moment of the economic revival. Communication starts from the inside out, according to Paola Vallejo, who recommends first validating “at home” what is going to be communicated to external audiences.
- Promote a culture of responsible communication: During an emergency period, the excess of information misinforms, and finding the right dose, between quality and quantity, is difficult in a saturated media ecosystem, where reality is mixed with manufactured and speculative content. Digital media make it easy for everyone to become news broadcasters without much effort. However, in the face of accelerated information flows, the relevance of the content would be the key to communication. As receivers, and at the same time, as senders, business leaders require a point of balance between the information that is relevant to assimilate and transmit, to perform their best during the reactivation phase of economic activities. For Paola Vallejo,
Communication is a relevant factor for companies in an environment of rapid changes. There are companies that are modifying their speech and reinventing themselves, to encourage encouragement, through messages, ideas and suggestions, that allow them to face the current situation. According to Caty Di Maggio, “the survival of a company also depends, to a large extent, on the identity and the philosophy that they transmit. The companies that overcome adversity are those that preserve the relationship with their public and keep their philosophy and identity alive ”, he concludes.