In the world of communications, we spend a lot of time brainstorming ways to reach people and understand needs before they occur. Planning and strategizing is a daily occurrence. As we’ve seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, so much was unknown from the beginning. Beginning February 29, 2020, we began communicating endlessly with our residents and team members about the potentials of a coronavirus pandemic. Flexibility and an open mind became necessary tools in order to move forward. Our leadership team put their heads together to brace themselves for what each day was going to bring. Today marks Communication 53 for the Apartment and Cottage residents. This is just one of over 100 pieces of communication sent out to health care residents, family members, and employee team members, including social media posts.
Since we were walking into the unknown, we knew we weren’t alone and both the residents and team members were going to need up to date information. In our communications, we had one goal: Transparency. Since we were all entering uncharted waters, we wanted to keep residents and team members fully informed on each step of the process. If we were anticipating a next step, we let the Community know that we would be anticipating this next step together. Keeping new information to ourselves would only strain the Community, and we were here to make sure we banded together to stay healthy.
This sense of transparency came through daily communication notes and videos from President/CEO Sarah Tipton. Maintaining the transparency required us to communicate quickly and constantly, since information was constantly changing for everyone. It was imperative to for Bishop Gadsden to keep residents and team members in the loop, 100% of the time. In this event, we were all learning as we went, with daily videos being a main vehicle for information. Introducing videos into our daily communications provided an opportunity for residents to be face to face to leadership, and hear updates while social distancing. This required us to step up our technology game as we learned to edit videos, navigate uploading and posting, and assist the Community with accessing these videos. Through this increase in technology, we have seen residents step up to the plate, utilize these newly introduced avenues of communication, and embrace the new technology. We have seen an overall increase in our internal website, and a continuing increase in views on our videos.
A Change in the Creative Process
On the topic of videos, this is just an example of the shift in our creative process. Most of our communications, including social media and blog posts, revolved around activities and happenings within the Community. When it comes to communications, a lot of content strategy is involved and with activities being gone, we had to get creative with our content. We focused on the small stories within the Community, the many changes that were occurring, and how we were celebrating the small things in life. Our communications weren’t just a way to share information, it became a piece that brought the Community together and provided support.
As we continue to adapt to what “normal” will look like and feel like, we hope that the daily updates and communications have provided a sense of support and possibly even some comfort. We are here to share, uplift, and maintain the sense of Community we have established here at Bishop Gadsden.