Why striking the right tone matters in a world of uncertainty

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During a global pandemic, people want clarity and empathy. Times are sensitive and turbulent, so how businesses can find the right tone to speak to their public? Find more below. 

Getting the tone right in 1–1 communications

There’s a few areas where tone can be especially jarring. The first is the unsolicited conversations via email. Brands who you barely remember interacting with, brands you’re pretty sure you’ve never interacted with, and brands who five minutes ago were bombarding you with “Gary, don’t miss out on your 30% discount for a product that’s literally going to be useless to you over the coming weeks” are now all solemnly queuing up to tell you that they take your health and the Coronavirus very seriously. In one instance, I’ve had an email that simply told me that the wellbeing of this brand’s customers and staff was paramount at this difficult time. Nothing else. It’s good to know you’re concerned about a serious matter, it would be better to know what you’re doing.

Getting a consistency in tone

The second issue of tone comes when there’s an inconsistency across channels, most often between the language on public channels (often the website and social media), private communication like emails, and the times when you need to speak to a human, such as call centres.

Getting your social media tone right

It’s also worth taking time to consider social media comms as a whole. If something will go badly tonally wrong, this is probably the place where it will go wrong. It’s also why a good community manager is vital — and needs support. It’s a stressful role at the best of times, without the pressure of a global pandemic.

So what does this mean in practice

It’s unlikely that one piece of misplaced tone will trigger mass desertion of your brand. Providing your missteps aren’t too heinous — and your company survives — you’ll probably be ok.

The full article can be found here: Why striking the right tone matters in a world of uncertainty

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