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LONDON, United Kingdom — “Let go of plans and learn to be agile — operate on a day-to-day basis,” were some of the opening remarks Julietta Dexter, founder and CEO of The Communications Store, shared on a BoF Careers HR Roundtable today — the final #BoFLive event last week.
Joined by her colleague, TCS Chief Creative Officer Daniel Marks, the pair shared best practice in communicating in a time of crisis, both internally to your employees — gleaned from their experience of managing 170 individuals across the US and UK — and externally to your community and the wider industry, drawn from their roles as advisors in strategic brand development and communications for brands like Versace and Bottega Veneta.
With advice ranging from how to deliver bad news, leveraging data to assist your learnings and the role authenticity and transparency plays in this time of crisis, BoF breaks down five key takeaways from the HR roundtable:
Be Consistent with Your Communication
“Set out what the strategic pillars of your communication with your community are going to be — that’s helpful as it provides some form of consistency. For us and our community, we have decided on transparency, pre-emption, compassion and empathy,” said Dexter.
Enable a Feedback Loop from Your Employees
“Led and inspired by the team, we instigated TCS Voice, a platform to everyone on all levels to give feedback and tell us where we’re getting it right and wrong, and we’re trying to use that platform to help us support everyone and mine creative thinking within the business,” said Marks.
Authentic Company Cultures Prevail
“The very overused word 'authenticity' is real and there are messages right now that seem very appropriate – and the data is showing that already. Don’t try and be someone you weren’t before, because it won’t land,” said Dexter.
Mine Learnings from Your Own Employees and Data
“Brands [that] are remodelling well [are] listening to their own internal data, seeing the experience and, most importantly, speaking to their teams on the ground. It’s voice-to-voice,” said Marks.
Share Advise with Your Competitors
“One of the words I’ve heard used more and more is co-opetition. There is competition, of course, in quality, price, excellence of product and brand, but at the same time, we [need to] learn from each other so we can help each other recover,” said Dexter.