12/11/2020

Remain an expert, don’t become a Comical Ali

Media relations reputation management

“Yeah, but we’re not going to tell you it’s bad, are we?” A lot of companies are afraid that their lower turnover today will have an impact on their image. And therefore, they hesitate to communicate. However, it is a no-brainer: even in bad times, it is crucial to behave like an expert with valuable information. Our advice: don’t pose as Comical Ali – the Iraqi minister who denied that the Americans were advancing in Baghdad while they were already walking through Hussein’s palace – or you’ll soon lose all credibility.

Talk to your co-workers

That you’re not the only one struggling in these corona times is crystal clear. You should therefore regularly listen to your network of colleagues. Is everyone in the same boat? Then make sure to mention in your communication that the sector is struggling. And you can’t escape it either. Make it clear that this is a general, temporary malaise.

Explain why

If things are not going so well in the sector, please indicate exactly what the difficulties are, and how they arose. By interpreting the situation, you act like an expert. And experts always have an edge over journalists. But make sure you stick to the facts. And bring your story in a way that everyone can understand. So instead of “Due to an increasing degree of uncertainty in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the demand for precious metals has steadily increased”, opt for “Belgian investors are increasingly putting their trust in gold, because they are very concerned about how to deal with the coronavirus.” Finally, don’t revert to the worn-out cliché that “the government has to do more”. This will make you look like a helpless victim.

Look Forward

Analysing things is good, but also look ahead by telling us what you will do for your company. Give a positive message to the average person, your customers, your partners and your shareholders. Tell me what you’re planning to do to help turn the tide. And show your enthusiasm and combativeness. 

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