‘Hopeful communication’ during a time of crisis is a powerful way to build connections, loyalty and empathy with stakeholders. The way the public has responded to the Olympics highlights the importance of positive news in a time of crisis and uncertainty.
In a crisis, leaders need to communicate with urgency, transparency and empathy. Harvard Business Review (July 2020) says:
- Urgency encourages people to make quick decisions to mitigate harm.
- Transparency builds trust in leaders and conveys respect for employees by implicitly recognizing them as capable of coping with what is being shared.
- Showing empathy and conveying a compelling message of hope can foster resilience in facing the challenges that lie ahead.
As a crisis continues, it becomes even more important to provide hope of better things to come.
If one thing has become clear so far from the Tokyo Olympics, it is that the world is in need of positive communication and inspirational messages.
Global TV, particularly streaming ratings, have bounced back after a weak opening ceremony; Channel 7 is expecting the Tokyo Games to also break streaming records – with more than 270 million minutes streamed on the second day alone.
Clearly, with significant parts of Australia in lockdown there is ample opportunity to watch the world’s premier sporting event and admire the sporting achievements being reached. What is also clear is that it is meeting the need for positivity & hope during a time of global uncertainty, desperation and grief.
The motto for this year’s Olympics couldn’t be more appropriate: “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together”.