Countdown to Brexit: Roisin Kirby, Managing Director of Refresh Marketing Consultancy

With the countdown to Brexit quickly ticking away, Business Link Magazine invites a select number of the region’s business leaders to offer their thoughts.

Here we talk with Roisin Kirby, Managing Director of Nottinghamshire-based Refresh Marketing Consultancy.

Business analysis of the Brexit agreement is concentrating on the potential economic impacts post-March. But what are the impacts on customers and consumers? How should businesses communicate these challenges to business stakeholders, customers and suppliers, if at all?

The key to successful business communications is to ensure timely information that is relevant and useful to your audience. So, whilst it might be tempting to share the details of your Brexit contingency planning with everyone on your database, that is not likely to be the most effective approach.

Creating a stakeholder map and identifying the primary impacts for each group is the essential first step. If your business contingency planning negates impacts for your customers, suppliers or partners then specific communications may not be needed.

Most organisations will want to communicate some key themes alongside the specific impacts for each stakeholder group:

  • Reassurance – that risk assessments have been undertaken and contingency plans are in place
  • Trust – that your organisation is considering any customer impacts of Brexit and communicate honestly with stakeholders
  • Stability – that your business is prepared to ensure continuity of service throughout the period of Brexit negotiations and implementation

Once all impacts on stakeholders are identified a communications plan can be put in place to ensure that the right people receive the right message at the right time.

Over-communication is as damaging as under-communication, so don’t be tempted to share too many details of your business planning with lots of people.

Communication channel choice is important. Email enables efficiency of communication but business briefings and events provide the opportunity to discuss and reassure, so select channels wisely.

The priority is to deliver timely, succinct and useful information is relevant for each stakeholder group.