Reopening 101: How to Engage Internal & External Audiences

Unsure how to communicate as your business reopens? Consider engaging your employees and customers in the planning process to keep lines of communication open.


Unsure how to communicate as your business reopens? Consider engaging your employees and customers in the planning process to keep lines of communication open. Learn how this tactic might even help inform your strategy in this Q&A with Candor Vice President Ally Glavas.


Q: What messaging points do businesses need to work through as they consider reopening? 


A: Businesses should be very clear with both employees and customers regarding protocol changes, such as “here’s what you can expect moving forward” and “here are the changes we’re making to address this situation.” There’s obviously still a wide variety of opinions on when and how to reopen, so messaging should be considerate, accommodating and empathetic — never dismissive. People are also starting to tune out of messaging with catchphrases like “these uncertain times” and “the new normal,” so make sure content acknowledges the inherent stress and anxiety without relying on these practically meaningless clichés.


Q: Why should business leaders take employee considerations into account as they consider reopening?


A: Before businesses can move forward, they must consider their employees’ current mindsets. This includes knowing employees’ stressors and pressure points to understand what might inhibit them from performing their jobs to the best of their abilities, both now and in the future. Without understanding barriers, it’s impossible to truly move forward.


Leading with confidence, calm and transparency is also key. I recently attended a webinar and heard a phrase that really stuck with me: “You should communicate with employees about your pandemic response frequently and consistently, but in a manner that’s contained.” Employees should be kept in the loop, but leaders need to reduce distraction from business goals — address the situation, then pivot so people can get their jobs done for the day.


Q: How can bringing audiences and customers into reopening plans help inform strategy? 


A: Business leaders naturally put a lot of pressure on themselves, but they need to remember they’re not in this alone. Sending out a survey is a great way to gather innovative ideas on how you can best support customers and employees. You never want to assume you know what people need. Through a survey, you may discover pain points or other things you haven’t thought about to help you reopen in the most successful way possible. Asking for feedback and following through by saying “we hear you” helps build loyalty amongst audiences.


Q: How can brands lean on companies like Candor for their reopening marketing efforts?


A: We have the experience and marketing know-how to roll out your messaging and reopening plan effectively and successfully. It’s not enough to just create a survey, for example — you must know how to promote it and incentivize responses. You also have to show people that you’re listening and responding to their needs. Oftentimes, a third-party perspective is just what you need to discover questions and come up with solutions you might not have considered.

This is an opportunity to delegate your brand’s marketing and communications efforts so you can focus on what you’re best at: the daily operations of your business.


Candor can help your company strategize and market your reopening plan. Email to start the conversation.


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