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Dealer association webinar emphasizes the importance of communication during COVID-19

Published April 2, 2020

IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — The National Bicycle Dealers Association hosted a free webinar Wednesday for its members on how to communicate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Business owners comprising NBDA's membership are doing all they can to keep their businesses operating, and communication is a key part of that, the webinar's facilitator said.

"The webinar's intent was to provide a framework, reasoning, and resources for these business leaders to stay in communication with their workforce, internal and external stakeholders, and their brand fans," said Kristin Carpenter, CEO and founder of Verde Brand Communications and the founder of the Channel Mastery podcast, a partner podcast for the BRAIN audience.

"The goal is to serve your stakeholders and audiences during this time so that when we do start transacting again, you still have trust and connection with your workforce and customers."

Consider online training

One question asked a few times during the webinar concerned how to keep employees working from home busy and productive. This is a great time to offer employees online training, such as what is being offered by Camber Outdoors, on diversity, equity and inclusion. Additionally, employees could benefit from joining immersive online experiences, in terms of gaining inspiration on how your company can show up in a similar way, and also, to offer them something positive to participate in. A good example would be the Dirty Kanza Virtual Camp, presented by Garmin and Salsa, which kicks off Thursday.

Here's a summary of the webinar, which can be viewed on the NBDA website. The complete five-part framework, created by Verde Brand Communications specifically for specialty brands and retailers, can be found here.

  1. You're a trusted resource to your community (workforce, stakeholders and brand fans). Your workforce is counting on you to be communicative, consistently, about your business. As a specialty brand, your brand fans self-identify with you. It's important to consistently show up for your audiences. And know that you do not have to be perfect
  2. Your ethics are on public display. No matter how big your company is, you must consider how to operate as a top-tier corporate citizen at this time. That means your business supports what your state and region are recommending to flatten the curve regarding the spread of COVID-19. Also, follow the CDC guidelines and post your COVID-19 business updates to your homepage of your website.
  3. Identify an internal COVID-19 task force/team. Even if you're a small shop, pulling a team together to guide how your brand shows up during this crisis is an important best practice. Identify shared goals, your audiences and the channels on which they engage most with your business. Additionally, mind those channels. The best action to take today is showing up and being human — and that comes down to communication and being responsive on your channels.
  4. Webinar participants asked a number of questions about what's appropriate to post during this time, and how to communicate about staying open as essential businesses. One focal point in the webinar was enabling business leaders to know how to read audience sentiment, which is important to start doing as a daily practice. This is an important part of the webinar and worth reviewing. Building and nurturing an audience can be one of the most important areas of focus a business owner could have right now, and the NBDA is working to provide those resources for its membership. The content is available to all readers of BRAIN.
Topics associated with this article: Coronavirus, Podcast

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