March 11, 2021

Crafting the right communications strategy

When planning for the reopening, developing the right communication strategy is crucial to ensure your customers are kept updated, informed and reassured about your safety approach.

Before building your communication strategy, take some time to craft the right messaging and imagery to support it.

Messaging and Tone

Developing the right messaging and tone is key to build effective communication to speak directly to your customers. The messaging for the reopening should be:

  • - Informative and precise: remember your first objective is to keep customers informed about your new policies. Try to focus on the key information you want to communicate and be as precise as possible.
  • - Reassuring and aimed to build confidence: it shouldn't be all about rules to follow and restrictions. Try to reassure visitors by communicating how safe your location is and what you are doing to protect customers and employees. Use a positive and encouraging tone.
  • - Trustworthy and transparent: be open about how you work, how you manage operations and what your customers can expect when they visit your store.


Try to develop consistent and effective imagery to support the messaging of your strategy. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. This is especially true in retail environment (both online and offline), where customers usually have little attention span. Keep in mind these three things:

  • - Remember to adapt imagery: in all your communication, try to adapt your current imagery to make it COVID-specific. Leverage on imagery encouraging mask-wearing, social distancing and hygiene.
  • - Reflect relevant changes: images should reflect the changes in your service physically in-store and online. Put emphasis on how your employees work and on your new policies.
  • - Championing customers at home & behaviour: use imagery showcasing examples of responsible customer behaviour in your store. You may also want to leverage imagery encouraging people to stay at home and order online (if you have developed such a service).

Quick guide for a communication strategy

To help you craft your strategy we have developed a checklist of concrete actions you can take to develop your communication strategy. Here are four things you should consider to develop your communication strategy:

1. Keeping customers safe and informed

2. Business status page

3. Opening Safely FAQ

4. Reopening Safely Plan

Guidelines from the government

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