Superb communication

Superb Communication during a water crisis

Superb communication during a water crisis is not a given.

Often, we get it wrong. When it is done well, it stands out. You may not currently be facing a water crisis. However, every day we see people communicating during conflict, political and personal crises. Give some thought to what works and what doesn’t in these times. You can have superb communication even in tough times.

The story of our drought

I am blessed to live in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. As you may be aware, we are currently experiencing a severe drought. This is a protracted drought. We have experienced very low rainfall for a number of years. The city faces the reality that there might well be a Day Zero. This is a day when Cape Town literally runs out of water. The taps will run dry and residents of the city will then have to go to central water points to collect water. As you can imagine, this would have a massive impact on all Capetonians. It is an unprecedented scenario.

As the drought continues, we have seen different levels of water restrictions come into force. At one point, we were given a daily allocation of 87 litres of water per person per day. At the moment we are at 50 litres per person per day. There is definitely some tension in the air around this issue! We have had to examine our use of water and change our daily habits. We harvest water from two minute showers, use grey water to flush toilets and we only flush when absolutely necessary. Gardens are bone dry. The latest gift to take to a dinner party is a bottle of water!

Businesses are also changing their water-usage habits.

My hairdresser asks clients to bring along five litres of water. Some restaurants  refuse to serve tap water as their contribution to water-saving, asking customers to purchase bottled water instead.  Their customers are not pleased, as this forced purchase obviously costs more money . The restaurants are seen to be making a profit from the water crisis. No business should alienate their customers, even by doing the ‘right thing’.

Superb communication

Knead demonstrate that they are true water warriors!

How Knead has crafted super communication

Last week I went to Knead – a restaurant in Muizenburg. In my view they have superb crisis communication. First they share with us what they have already done to conserve water. Their actions have reduced their water usage by the required 45%. In this communication, we are reassured that health and hygiene have not been compromised. They clearly demonstrate that they are  innovative and dedicated to making a difference. They are in the crisis as water warriors.

Knead Restaurant asking customers to help save water

Knead Restaurant asking customers to help save water

Next, they state that water will only be served on request. They explain that every glass of water served needs to be washed and rinsed – requiring additional water. They then present the customer with an alternative. Purchase a 330ml bottle of water from them at cost. It is affordable, and they are not profiting from selling water to you. Above all you still have a choice.

This superb communication during a water crisis makes Knead stand out as a brand. I will happily support them. Their communication leaves me feeling that we were in this together. Together we are Water Warriors for the city we all love.

The next time you have a crisis, consider how you can craft superb communication.

If you do it right, you can build your customer loyalty, even in the midst of a crisis. You may not currently be facing a water crisis. However, we often have to communicate during times of conflict – both at home and at work. How you communicate during conflict can also build your brand or detract from it. Find out more about Communicating during times of conflict in Speak Connect Succeed – Build Your Reputation As You Speak.