Drip-feeding communications will not make us “Keep calm and carry on”

by

Drip feed of information

As someone who specialises in crisis communications, I know only too well the weight of words.

An Taoiseach should comprehend the added weight of his words during a crisis, and that a public comment could be “life or death” to some, but especially to those whose livelihoods are being ripped apart by this pandemic.

I refer, of course, to the vague comment made on Radio Na Gaeltachta by An Taoiseach over the weekend on the hospitality sector not re-opening until mid-summer.

A strategic approach to communications for a crisis should be constantly revised and revisited to ensure those who will be speaking to the press are advised on the best approach to filtering messages to the public and, above all, making these messages as clear and unambiguous as possible.

It seems to me that our current Government is lacking in effective strategic communications, and instead seems to be taking the “hoping for the best” approach. The mood of the country is at an all-time low, with what feels like no end in sight.

Now, more than ever, we need a leader who will speak to us directly, keep us informed, and reassure us that they know what they are doing and not hoping that leaking some information and drip- feeding communications will be sufficient for us to “keep calm and carry on”.

While empathetic leadership seems to be a foreign concept to the Irish Government, now, more than ever, we need to hear and see a true leader who communicates with us not through titbits in PR interviews, but regular press briefings and clear communication.

An Taoiseach should understand the weight of his words and the extreme consequences that they can have on those people going through what is, no doubt, one of the most difficult experiences they will have in their lifetime.

Ciara Jordan, Fuzion CommunicationsCiara

Ciara Jordan is Head of Communications with Fuzion Communications a full service agency offering Strategic Communications, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

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