Navigating uncertain times with effective communications

communicating trust during the COVID-19 pandemic

2 min readMar 17, 2020


During times when the world is nervous, effective communication is critical to the trust we work to build as brands and businesses. Through effective communications we create awareness, assist with prevention efforts, and dispel false information. As your partners, we have assembled a little educational how-to with the goal of helping you keep yourselves, your businesses, and your communications as healthy as possible.

to react is human

If there’s one thing we know for certain about ourselves and our fellow humans, it’s that we tend to feel and behave in certain ways during times of uncertainty. Here are a few things to consider when crafting your communications.

  • Fear of unknowns: People fear uncertainty and when faced with it they gravitate toward people and places they trust and are familiar with.
  • Availability bias: Humans get more worried about things that flood the news than non-newsworthy things that could pose greater threats to them.
  • Probability weighting: People tend to overreact to smaller probability events (e.g., a shark attack) and under-react to higher probability events (e.g., getting caught in a riptide).

how to maintain brand trust

Whether internally or externally, trust is a foundational component of any successful brand or business. Maintaining trust during times of uncertainty is closely tied to being open and upfront.

  • Positioning is key: Position communications in terms of your responsibility to your team, your community, and our shared global community, and to your commitment to ensuring excellence for your clients. Avoid using the opportunity to further your brand.
  • Recognition: Recognize that your team and your clients have genuine fears and concerns while assuring them that you have their best interests and safety as a top priority. Recognize the possibility that serious things can happen, rather than treating them as elephants in the room.
  • Transparency: Be specific and avoid vague statements such as, “We are doing all we can.” Making statements specific instills trust in you as a voice of transparency, e.g., “We are monitoring updates on a daily basis.”

keeping things in perspective

In no way would we recommend downplaying the seriousness of COVID-19, but it’s important to keep things in perspective — for yourselves, your business, and your customers. The best thing we all can do for now is to follow the advice of our health and government officials, communicate clearly with one another, and — of course — remember to wash our hands.

Follow this link for regular updates.

Yours in good health,
theturnlab team




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