BEATTIE, the integrated communications agency, has launched a specialist team to help clients navigate the communications and reputational challenges of coronavirus.
The team was set up after Beattie and its reputation management division Only Crisis were inundated with enquiries from new and existing clients seeking advice on how to manage internal and external communications as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Director Chris Gilmour said: “The situation is evolving daily and companies want access to the best communications advice and guidance to ensure their people are safe and the right measures are in place to ensure business continuity.
“At the same time, they don’t want to cause unnecessary panic and distress, so it’s important to get messaging right.
“It’s worth bearing in mind that so far there have only been a handful of confirmed cases and with a population of 67 million, they don’t even register as a percentage figure.”
Leading the coronavirus team is Rhiannon Evans, a former regulatory lawyer who specialises in providing strategic communications and reputation management advice across the healthcare, pharma, charity, banking and finance sectors.
She said: “We provide clients with guidance on how to manage social media and internal and external communications to ensure clarity of message inside and outside of the organisation.
“Clients are frustrated because they have limited information but feel compelled to be seen as doing something.
“It’s crucial to strike the right balance for the individual client and that includes incorporating the latest official advice from the NHS and bodies such as Public Health England and Health Protection Scotland.
“Level heads are vital at this time, so calm and insightful strategic communications are essential so that companies don’t sow the seeds of panic.”
Headquartered in London, Beattie Communications has 16 offices across the UK and Canada including Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Belfast and Toronto.