Govt, Corporates, urged to embrace crisis communication

By Tafanana Kwedu

Public relations experts have encouraged government and corporates to embrace crisis communication in order to mitigate the impact of COVID19 in the wake of a spike in workplace infections recorded across the country.

Crisis communication is a specialised communication tool for responding to an abnormal situation which requires the cooperation of all stakeholders in both the internal and external publics of an organisation.

It is used for identifying a crisis and managing the response to the crisis and processes in any organisation.

Speaking at a Zimbabwe Institute of Public Relations (ZIPR) virtual meeting recently Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) Public Relations and Communications Manager, Elizabeth Karonga said organisations needed to be more proactive in engaging with their stakeholders on COVID19 issues and how it is affecting their operations.

“The organisation has an obligation to proffer proactive and prompt communication to its stakeholders to maintain good relations.

“Staff members are particularly vulnerable as the challenges caused by the COVID19 pandemic require focus amid uncertainty. Staff members thus need consistent and accurate information and guidance which is actionable so that they can support and protect the organisation as well as the community at large,” she said.

ZIPR President, Godfrey Koti said the institute’s   mandate was to keep finding improved and more effective ways of communicating in the workplace.

“We recognise that communication plays a critical role in reducing the negative impact of the pandemic, subsequently saving lives primarily in the workplace," he said.

ZIPR is the premier professional body for public relations practitioners in Zimbabwe. Established in 1966 it is one of the oldest professional associations in Africa with the aim of promoting the development of public relations in Zimbabwe.