Monday, June 27, 2016
Communications are essential when dealing with the fallout of a crisis. That is why the British government is appealing for calm. There is little that can be done physically while the country breaks away from the EU, so the best thing to do is to carry on as normally as possible. The exit will not happen in days or even in weeks. There are too many regulations, agreements and understandings to unwind. Keeping British citizens up to the moment as each one of these breakaways and their implications is effected will be essential. There will still be confusion and a goodly number of individuals will not get the message, but the government must try in order to prevent a worse crisis. The rule here is to over-communicate, to be in the citizen's face with the message, to make sure that every rumor is addressed with facts and every outburst handled calmly. The government should project a sense of control even though it doesn't have it and of the ability to deal with each situation as it arises. Beneath the surface and among bureaucrats there will be a sense of panic that also must be handled for they are the ones who will formalize the rupture and they have to be kept at the task as it unfolds. There will be plenty for communicators to do in the weeks and months ahead. Little of it will be pleasant.