The City of Toronto’s CCO Brad Ross argues communicators have done a good job relaying vital messages about the pandemic. As people are tiring of safety measures and we face a second wave, this is not the time to take a break. Do not let this long crisis, and its critics, cause you to question the effectiveness of your work
Stories by Brad Ross
You know things are bad when a chief communications officer longs for a ‘normal’ crisis. That’s the case for City of Toronto’s CCO Brad Ross as he works to communicate vital messages during coronavirus. At least crises during pre-COVID-19 had a timeline, Ross writes. “Give us a fighting chance. COVID-19 is otherworldly,” Ross laments.
It’s not often we get a close-up look at how communicators handle crises. Brad Ross, executive director of communications for Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), takes us through a difficult week, day by day. In the end, TTC feels that being honest and transparent and apologizing will re-build the reputation hits it absorbs after a difficult week on the rails. It might take a little bit of time, though.
With all the good that comes from social media, there also are negatives. One is that employees can criticize their company online and make life even more anxious for communicators. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) encountered such an instance a few months ago when it introduced random drug and alcohol testing of employees. An outcry went up in some quarters over this policy. Here’s how TTC handled the situation.
Businesses must comply with laws and regulations that demand protective measures for the safety of workers and the public; smart businesses go the extra mile to quickly right customer service wrongs before they become embarrassing public issues; and as sensible, informed adults, we take steps to protect ourselves and those around us, such as ensuring our children are vaccinated.