By: Injeel Moti, Founder and MD, Catch Communications

Public relations stands above many careers as one of the most stressful. This is due to the very nature of the job, all the many hats we wear and of course Crisis Communications which contributes largely to the ‘stress’ part of the job. 

Over the past couple of weeks, owning to the of Palestine- Israeli conflict / war, communicators have found themselves tasked with navigating the increasingly complex terrain of crisis communications in the digital era. While there is no easy way out of it surely there are ways in which communicators can lessen the weight. 

Use Emotional Intelligence 

If there was ever a time to lean into your emotional intelligence, this is it. All those of us that are in advisory roles must lead with a human first approach. Be it engaging with your clients, stakeholders, the media or influencers, you need to consider doing check ins before diving into any work-related dialogue. 

There is a whole lot that you can pick up from an individual’s personal social media and their feelings towards, think about how you want to structure a chat basis that, this will result in forming a connection easier and quicker, as well result in a more fruitful outcome, less transactional. 

Educate yourself 

Effective advisory comes off the back of having knowledge, if you weren’t aware of the conflict, it is never too late to learn of it now. Do a deep dive into the history of it, understand the core issue, learn of the sensitives, all perspectives and sides, to have a wholesome view of the entire situation at hand. This will help you have all the ammunition possible as well the ability to grasp different views, without feeling a certain way when offering advisory.

Stay on top of news and current happenings

As communication professionals we must stay on top of news and happenings now more than ever, a certain change in stance from leadership / governance body, or a statement could lead to boycott calls for brand or subsequently recalls of it, offering adept guidance on how a business is to navigate that and to help them mitigate impact can happen a lot more effectively if you are well informed.  

Additionally, closely monitoring the social channels for brands’ is key to ensure any sentiment be it positive, negative or neutral can be picked up on. The earlier you can do this the better.

Human first approach

We must take into account that emotions are riding high and as human beings recognizing that and then viewing it with a lens of empathy is necessary. 

The approach must be human first, we are dealing with grave losses, shock, trauma, fear, people losing their sense of security, there is also the impact of emotional duress from exposure to all the graphic imagery we have been exposed to. 

For those of us in communication roles in the region have often found themselves at a crossroads as you are interacting with people at work, that may have lost their families or be comforting others going through. Carrying on like it’s ‘business as usual’ would be very naïve and can be easily misunderstood. 

Be kind to you

Lastly, we must not forget to offer ourselves kindness too, if you are caught in the crossfire of it all, you’re very likely consuming a whole lot of news as well spending the better part of your day having conversations around it, which can lead to burnout very quickly. There is also the very daunting navigation of your own emotional experience & emphatic distress. Ultimately, in your role of a communicator, you do carry a responsibility and to be able to see it through, you need to be at your best or functional at the very least.

While collectively we all hope for a peaceful solution and an end to it, lean into your experience, your education, do what feels right. Strike to find a balance between what you believe and what is right for the business you are advising.