Crisis Comms and Pandemic PR: Tips from our Leaders Network

Unprecedented, challenging, extraordinary, unique, unusual—these are some of the terms we have heard to describe the time we find ourselves in. We have all been going through drastic changes in our professional and personal lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic as we work with our organizations and clients to adapt to the new business environment.

As we emerge from our proverbial cocoons over the last two months, it’s time to reflect on what we’ve learned and how we will navigate the coming weeks and months in our attempt to establish the “new normal.” Through this pandemic, we’ve seen great examples of our communicators and PR professionals leading significant and impactful strategies and messaging to keep internal and external stakeholders informed and connected, while facing some unprecedented challenges that even the best of emergency communications plans could never anticipate. Now more than ever, communicators play an important role in ensuring employees, stakeholders and customers are engaged and informed through innovative ways such as digital communications to maintain trust.

As communicators, we will definitely be put through our paces and business leaders will look to us to provide sound advice and counsel for a variety of scenarios as the way businesses will deliver products and services to customers, and how we work, will look very different.

It is in times like these where the real value of being a member of CPRS shows. When we are faced with the challenges in providing counsel for situations we have never experienced, we can look to our fellow members, especially senior practitioners, for their advice, guidance and support.

To help us navigate through these uncharted waters, CPRS Vancouver is proud to bring you a new blog series featuring wisdom and insights from our Leaders Network members. While the nature of communications responses to the pandemic has been a new experience for many, our senior communications and PR professionals have collectively experienced economic downturn, significant changes to business operations and reputation loss, to name a few. Over the coming weeks, they will share lessons learned from past experiences in times of crisis as well as strategies and best practices for moving forward.

The first in the series is from Jennifer Siddon, a seasoned communications and external relations consultant who will share her tips on how we can effectively communicate during a crisis.

If you’re a senior practitioner and have advice to share or if there’s a specific topic you’d like to hear about, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].

Stay safe and stay healthy,

Rashpal Rai, APR, Manager, Communications Planning, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

About the Author

Rashpal Rai, APR is an accredited public relations professional with over 20 years of experience in strategic internal and external communications planning, stakeholder relations and issues management. He has been a long-standing member and volunteer with CPRS, both at the local and national levels, and currently serves as Director of Senior-Level Professional Development/Leaders Network with CPRS Vancouver. Follow with him on Twitter at @rashrai or LinkedIn at