Chapter stories

Chapter’s Four C’s of Communications

With a vaccine now finally available, dare we be cautiously optimistic about the future? It’s been such a turbulent year – and continues to be crushingly frustrating for many service providers facing ongoing restrictions. In the face of continued uncertainty, however, we must not only see the wood for the trees but understand what we need to do to be ready. And we need to be ready right now. Here we explore the Four C’s of ensuring your communications are in check for a post-pandemic world.



For good or bad, 2020 has changed us all. We shop differently, communicate differently and behave differently. Life feels more fragile and things we took for granted seem so much more important. And for many of us, purpose is now seen as equal to profit in the world of business. It’s fanciful to think that when the world reopens, we can just simply pick up where we left off because if not much else is the same, why should you be?

Start by asking your customers what’s changed for them and analyse whether the role you play in their life or business is still relevant and necessary. Some will take far longer to recover from this year than others so give people the time they need to dust themselves off and get going again.

Now look at your own brand and messaging. What seemed luxurious and aspirational in 2019 might now seem vulgar and out of touch. Focus on your tone of voice as a business, from phone manner to social media captions to emails, and ensure everyone in the team understands what you stand for as a company and perhaps more importantly, what you don’t stand for.



So you and your team have adapted to working remotely and, by and large, you’re impressed (perhaps even surprised) at how well everyone has coped. It may not be for all of us long term – some of us simply can’t work remotely – however there has been a major shift in your company culture whether you realise it or not. This year has humanised employees and clients alike and given us a new level of empathy for those in our circle. But what about those lofty plans scribbled on the now dusty office whiteboard?

Now is the time to assess your company culture – do your values as a business still chime with reality? What are the goals, short and long term, and is everyone aware of them? What is the business trying to achieve and do you all know how you’ll get there? Running a business right now is littered with concern, confusion and anxiety but that doesn’t stop you having a goal. There is no shame in taking a different route or shifting the goal posts to align with market conditions, but you must remove any ambiguity from the common and overarching goal of the business. Hint: it’s not the same as it was in January 2020.



Yes, the good old days were fun. Yes, we all did some brilliant work and yes, we were successful at it. However, the good old days are sadly just that – old. It’s highly unlikely you’ll be replicating 2019 in 2021 so don’t continue to pump out content that is now irrelevant. There is no problem with reminiscing *occasionally* but your content should focus on what you ‘can’ do now, not what you ‘could’ do. How often do you see Amazon marketing (on social media or otherwise) about a fantastic kettle it sold in 2019? Never. They tell you about the best kettle for 2021 and why you should buy if from them and no-one else.


Chapter stories

Redefining your voice during a crisis

Words matter. Your words (what you say) and your tone (how you say it) are fundamental to the perception of your brand, yet they are so often undervalued.

Covid-19 has been a masterclass in relevance and reputation. At a time when emotions are intensified and problems are magnified, brands, celebrities and Government ministers have been frantically fighting for relevancy. A spotlight has been shone on those who have diplomatically navigated their way through the crisis, saying the right thing at the right time – and those that haven’t.

As we get closer to shutting the door to 2020, now is the time to be giving careful consideration to the stories you want to tell and how you plan to share them. Keep front of mind the following principles and your brand is much more likely to be heard and listened to.


01 | Redefining your relevance

One of the biggest challenges for brands during Covid has been defining their relevance, particularly so for sectors such as hospitality. With many businesses unable to operate and struggling to make ends meet, maintaining presence with little or no content to share is no mean feat. The best way to ensure you stay relevant is to shift to a ‘servicing’ mindset; now is not the time for hard selling. Give careful thought to what your customers need and how you can help them, whether it’s offering a new service or providing some much-needed, light entertainment. Actively follow through on your word with positive, non-profiteering actions and once the crisis is over, you’ll be remembered for the right reasons.


02 | Messaging with meaning

Constant news reports, daily briefings and continuous changes to the rules and restrictions has resulted information fatigue. Consumers are re-evaluating which brands they still need in their lives and those that they can survive without. If there’s one thing we can guarantee, it’s that nobody wants to hear anything more about the ‘uncertain times’. Think about every message you want to communicate and then consider if it’s genuinely interesting, informative or necessary. If it is, it’s worth doing. Otherwise it’s just littering the world with additional content clutter.


03 | Reshaping your tone of voice

Every brand has its own tone of voice which reflects its brand values and is instantly recognisable. Alongside the brand aesthetic, the tone of voice plays a huge part in creating a brand personality. During a crisis, the tone of voice should stay consistent with the values but needs to be re-purposed to reflect the world around us and the mood of the public. The brand voice and technical bits (grammar, language and syntax) can stay the same to ensure the brand personality is maintained, but the tone needs to be adjusted. A tone that was appropriate tone in 2019 is likely to miss the mark now, particular in response to a shift in people’s thoughts, behaviours and opinions. The key to reshaping your tone of voice and ensuring authenticity is to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and connect with how they are feeling. Do they need empathy and peace-of-mind reassurance, or perhaps they’re in need of uplifting optimism as we look to the future? Either way, if it’s not said with sensitivity it’s likely you’ll be perceived as ‘tone deaf’.


There’s no denying that Covid-19 has presented huge challenges across the world and businesses are fighting for survival. However, as we approach a new year and an imminent vaccine providing much-needed light at the end of the tunnel, now is an ideal opportunity to be redefining your voice. By giving some careful thought as to how you can add value to your customers and reshaping your messaging to reflect this, you’ll be remembered in a positive light for years to come.


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