How To Communicate As COVID-19 Restrictions Are Lifted

 
Brian Nicholson

The CDC announced that fully vaccinated individuals can skip the masks.

State and local officials are responding by easing or ending emergency health orders.

All eyes are turning to you, the business owner.

Now what?

6 recommendations to serve your customers and your staff as restrictions change:

  1. Keep a Covid message on your website. We know—it’s tempting to drop it, especially if you’re just going to follow local guidelines. But businesses have been empowered to make their own decisions now, and your customers’ natural question is going to be, “what’s your decision?” At minimum, a clear message should tell people that you’re following local guidelines.
  2. Remember that you’re serving people who don’t live near you. We know; you haven’t seen some of them in far too long, but they’re still out there—people traveling to your region who might not know your local area’s regulations. So when we said that your banner could just tell people that you’re following local guidelines? Make sure you also link to a page—yours or a local authority’s—that clearly and succinctly explains those guidelines.
  3. Provide options for those who need to adhere to stricter procedures. Many people remain unvaccinated, and many are in the high-risk group. Consider retaining options for them. What’s your version of the early-access shopping hours that grocery stores are continuing to offer?
  4. Be brief and thorough by using a 2-part approach to Covid messaging on your site. 1) The simple banner. The message should be brief but meaningful. So not “Covid-19” with a link, but rather, “Masks are optional for fully vaccinated guests indoors and out. Learn more.” This answers the question of 75% of your visitors. Put this at the top of your site or in other prominent places so that anyone looking for it sees it. 2) The details page. This is where you should be talking about cleaning procedures, group sizes, options for children and the immunocompromised, etc.
  5. Talk to your team and your customers to understand how they’re feeling about the changes. Yes, many people are going to happily leave their masks behind and charge back to “normal” as quickly as they can. But be sensitive to those who have a different perspective, and make sure that their voice is heard.
  6. Be consistent even as restrictions are lifted. Whatever you decide—about masks for children, masks for guides, requiring proof of vaccination or not, etc.—consistency is key. If you find that a policy isn’t working, change the policy, rather than abandoning enforcement. That way your guides and your guests know what to expect.

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About The Author

Brian Nicholson

Brian is a partner at Blend Marketing. He focuses on brand strategy, positioning, and analytics for the tourism industry.

Email Brian

About The Author

Brian Nicholson

Brian is a partner at Blend Marketing. He focuses on brand strategy, positioning, and analytics for the tourism industry.