BLOG: Confused messaging from Government could deepen COVID crisis

BLOG: Confused messaging from Government could deepen COVID crisis

BLOG: Given the current severity of COVID19, it's become clear that, alongside key logistics and operational matters, communications is the central issue in the success or failure of the fight against coronavirus.

Confusion over messaging has led to this lockdown, with gentle tips from Boris rather than instruction, (for more on suppression read the Hammer & The Dance article). Confusion for construction workers, divorced parents, who are key workers, are hampering the government's ability to get an effective grip on the crisis. Just look at the photo of the London Tube this morning!? Having a crisis comms plan across many issues is challenging, but it's why preparedness and testing scenarios is vital and how countries and firms get through this.

It's why the army trains all year for a potential battle. Not just the once, a decade ago. We appear woefully unprepared. It's too late for COBRA to test this scenario - they're in the eye of the storm and we all want them to succeed. But they must do better at the comms. Or the spread of the disease will deepen the crisis. I'll leave business 'heroes and villains' for another day, save for Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley; your sports retail shops never did contain key workers, unless you sell bog roll & chopped tomatoes! 

[Dave was a founder and launch voice of Somerset’s first commercial radio station, Orchard FM in 1989, going on to present and produce programmes at HTV West, BBC Radio 5 and Radio 1, ITV News, and Breakfast TV station, GMTV.

He is the author of the media training bible, 'Handling the Media in Good Times & Bad', published by Rudling House.] 

Article Author: Dave Mason, MCIPR

Dave is Mentor Media Training's Managing Director. He is a CIPR Accredited Practitioner and regularly trains for the PR industry institute. His extensive career in broadcasting spans 30 years across radio and television. He has coached executives from major public and private sector organisations, as well as the UK Armed Forces/NATO, around the world for the past decade. Dave is respected for his inspiring training, which is supportive and concentrates on fast learning development. A founding presenter and shareholder of Somerset’s Orchard FM, he went on to work extensively in commercial radio around the UK, as well as BBC News, where he was a Correspondent at BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 1 Newsbeat. Dave has been a TV presenter, reporter and producer at ITN, GMTV, (ITV Breakfast), ITV News Westcountry and HTV West. He was one of GMTV’s senior producers for a decade, covering major international, domestic, political and entertainment stories. His roles have included senior news producing and planning, undercover investigations, war reporting and features production. He still broadcasts as a crisis communications pundit on LBC, BBC Radio and is a visiting lecturer at the Universities of Bath Spa, Gloucestershire and the Cardiff School of Journalism. He is the author of 'Handling the Media In Good Times & Bad'.