Weapons against the enemy: how companies should communicate in times of war

In each crisis situation, especially during war, it is absolutely impossible to remain silent or disappear from public space. Even if you are a company that has suspended its work, your official pages should become a platform for spreading important information.

Proper communication between business, government, NGOs, and each of us is also an important weapon against the enemy. And the ability to keep in touch with different audiences to maintain contact and be as helpful as possible. This was reported to Delo.ua by Perfect PR CEO Natalia Ulynets.

Call a spade a spade: war is war, invasion is invasion, Russian soldiers are enemies, occupiers.

This is especially important if you are communicating in an international environment. After all, words like “rashists” or “orcs” may be incomprehensible to foreigners.

Communicate regularly and always stay in touch. Be honest, open, sincere, show your attitude to what is happening and to people who are in a difficult situation. Explain what you as a company do and will do to help the country, your employees.

Try to react quickly to important events and communicate them, because timely publicity can radically change the circumstances. Distribute only verified information from official sources, any inaccurate data will distrust all the information you provide.

If it is possible, communicate from the official speakers and first people in your organization. Communicate with your target audience on those platforms, which are most convenient for them. Your messages should be simple, precise and clear. Continue to communicate about the field in which you work, adapting your communication to specific situations.

Critically evaluate each news item and “expert opinion” so as not to fall victim to misinformation. We take negative news more deeply and focus on them longer. That is why they spread like wildfire. Remember that this is the strategy of disinformation from the enemy.

Even if the company’s internal communications were not established before the war, now is the time to fix it 

Proper communication with employees solves several tasks at once: maintains a working team, maintains the psychological state and efficiency of work.

This works for both a team of twenty and a hundred employees.

Are you working as usual, partially or temporarily suspended, evaluate the communication system with your team, set it up so that you can quickly convey the necessary information, hear the opinions of colleagues and make decisions.

Discuss work issues as is, without embellishment. A team that understands the situation in the company feels safer and more confident.

Organize an internal response headquarters. For example, an evacuation/relocation specialist for workers from hazardous regions; a specialist responsible for charitable projects and company support. The headquarters should also include specialists who will quickly inform the staff about internal changes in the company.

Use the channels used by the team (email, Viber or Telegram bot, instant messaging). Duplicate messages on all channels as needed. It will increase the chances of each team seeing it. 

Inform regularly, succinctly, accessibly. Share your plans about the company: the team must be prepared for possible changes. In addition, your colleagues can help improve the finished plan or suggest their own. Periodically, the company’s management should be involved in informing the team in video or text format.

Become a source of useful information for employees. Share safety rules, emergency contacts, mental health tips, and more. Make a list of verified and official sources of information, and quality Ukrainian media and invite employees to follow them.

Tell about the company’s volunteer or charitable initiatives through the prism of thanking the team, because it is the result of working together. Most companies make every effort to support Ukrainians: they volunteer, and provide material assistance and products. Emphasize that this help would not be possible without the united and dedicated work of the team.

Remain optimistic in your messages, do not ignore messages that motivate. Maintaining morale is important both at the front and in the rear. Start a photo challenge of employees from work, share jokes and memes, videos and inspirational quotes.

Profiles of brands, government institutions, influencers, and politicians have become a network of media and creativity. And the virality of this format helps to spread information far beyond its audience.

The world needs to know what is happening in Ukraine. The virality of creative content helps to solve this problem. Videos, memes, graphics, promotions, art initiatives, and projects, these formats work to disseminate important information.

Talk about losses (infrastructure, civilians). Thanks to free access to information, even after three months of full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine, thousands of rallies in support of our state are gathering in European cities.

Motivate. During the war, the demand for information increased. A lot of disturbing news can affect the morale of Ukrainians, so it is extremely important to support the audience. It will never be superfluous to say “everything will be fine”. Use memes. The simplicity and accuracy of this format allow Ukrainians to spread the news quickly and make it easier for Ukrainians to experience difficult moments.

Talk about the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The support of defenders is important in public communication. The boys and girls who defend the country are the main characters in the rhetoric of brands and public figures. The glorification of the heroes of Ukraine is always a relevant topic for creativity.

Discover the history of Ukraine. Creative agencies, brands, politicians, and the public have created hundreds of videos about the identity, traditions, historical facts, and unity of our country. All this is quickly spreading abroad so that no one has any doubts that Ukraine is not russia.

Use quotes. Accurate words and theses quotes from the President, ministers, and Ukrainian cultural and public figures, which appear on the covers of world publications, will definitely be included in history textbooks. Therefore, good “packaging” will only promote the rapid spread of content.

Ask for help. Brands, businesses, public figures, and the media have come together to achieve the global goal of winning the war. At this time, all those who have their own audience (regardless of number) become repeaters, mouthpieces of volunteer headquarters. And creativity will help to stand out in the news feed, and thus increase the effectiveness of such appeals.

As Serhiy Zhadan said, “History is not just being rewritten today. It is rewritten in Ukrainian”. Therefore, all communication today can be considered part of the chronicle of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Author: Natali Ulynets

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