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With the current spread of COVID-19 impacting businesses’ hours and ability to remain open in order to serve customers, there has been an increased need to communicate new developments quickly. Social media can be a great way to get out updates fast, but these missives must be handled properly, or else they might only cause more confusion – or get lost in the shuffle. Here are some tips for sharing breaking news announcements with your social media followers.

  1. Tell your staff first: Maybe you will have the luxury of being able to break news to your staff a week or a day in advance – maybe you will only have a few minutes. Either way, make sure to tell them the plan before you share news publicly, so they don’t find out online and feel blindsided. Even if your news is disappointing, they deserve to have a heads up.
  2. Be clear, concise and consistent: This is always good advice for crafting social media posts, but it is especially important in a breaking news situation. State the issue, what your company is doing and any next steps you can share. Work with leadership and choose your words carefully.
  3. Include an image: As we know, text-only posts can get overlooked on social media. Consider sharing a statement from leadership as an image file or post a copy of your company’s logo. Even an image with the words “Breaking News” or “Important Update” will get more attention than a tweet with no visual aid.
  4. Link to available resources: If you are fortunate enough to have a press release with more information, here is a great place to link to it. If not, include a link to other options. For example, if you are sharing your company’s current plans regarding COVID-19 but don’t have a formal news release, be a good public servant and link to the CDC’s resources for businesses and how to prevent getting sick.
  5. Have someone on hand to address questions: Don’t simply tweet your news and walk away – make sure someone is available to address questions as they come in. Designate a point person, probably your director of communications or another key individual, to monitor questions as they come in and respond to them accordingly.

During this pandemic, we are continuing to focus on meeting the needs of our members. FGIA marketing staff is available to you as a resource for crafting messaging and planning execution of your communications strategy. Don’t hesitate to comment below or reach out.