Messaging With Purpose in a COVID-19 World

In my last blog, I discussed the need to anticipate when the time is right to start changing your messaging and using communication to help transition your team to the next normal. But COVID-19 presented unique challenges when it came to deciding the appropriate time to begin telling our story to an external audience. When was it okay to start talking about business again? When would it not sound uncaring?

At the same time, we were in an uncommon position of finding ourselves with lots of open roles across the company; while others were shuttering their businesses, we were still growing and needed to attract talent.

As I wrote about before, we knew it was important to focus on our Purpose – Innovation That Matters – and place it at the heart of our communications internally as we began to build our bridge. But this also started to stand out as our way to ease into external engagement. So as we embarked upon our campaign to fill open positions, we carefully discussed the messaging, allowing it to serve multiple functions (beyond talent attraction), to reflect our drive to recognize the benefits and advantages of a diverse workforce in our company and the industry, to highlight our objective to bring humanity to our brand, and to reinforce our commitment to our Purpose, all of which lead the way to Innovation That Matters. For People Who Matter.

We knew it was important to place people and purpose at the front as we took our early steps into post-COVID external messaging. As we put the company out there across digital media, we understood job seekers would not be the only ones to see our brand – and we knew that for the majority of those who did see us, it was likely the first time. We wanted it to be clear that we weren’t blind to what was going on in the world – people were in pain. We knew that leading with “business first” ran the risk of insulting the current experiences of large swaths of the country. And most importantly, we wanted everyone to know we truly value our people first – that our people matter – and that what they do matters.

Through this singular yet multi-functional messaging, we were able to underscore the importance of innovation in times of change; to inform or remind people that what we do is helping create a safer world; to share our purpose with a greater public and tell them why the work we do matters to every one of us; and to amplify our knowledge that our people help strengthen the quality of life in the communities where they live and work.

We would then use this sentiment to frame our messaging within the company as we reimagined the next Mercury to rise from the forever-changed work landscape—or world, for that matter. In my next blog, I’ll discuss how we focused on messaging that would:

  • Help employees;
  • Inspire courage and innovation in the face of change;
  • Provide hope and vision for the future, and;
  • Shift to greater engagement.