The Importance of Local Tracking During the Coronavirus Outbreak

March 18, 2020

In the unprecedented times we face with the coronavirus outbreak, government officials at all levels have taken an active role in their community’s response.

In many cases, local officials have taken charge of making the call to use their executive authority to close schools, shutter restaurants, and even to require their cities to shelter-in-place.

For corporations and trade associations that have facilities or member organizations in these cities, it’s critical for their public affairs teams to stay up-to-date with each city’s respective protocols so they can properly respond and engage. However, most of these corporations don’t have state or local government affairs employees on the ground in all of the cities and counties that they need to follow.

Without having team members on the ground in these cities, not only is tracking updates to policies challenging, but organizations may also lack personal relationships with those city officials, creating a need to build relationships so that as plans are enacted, the industries impacted have a seat at the table.

Enter Quorum Local. Quorum Local helps organizations track dialogue from city and county officials across social media, then engage those officials with email.

Here are three ways Quorum Local can help industries impacted by coronavirus closures track and engage with local officials:

Track Statements on Closures and Other Changes By Local Officials

The first mention of coronavirus or COVID-19 by a mayor in the United States was January 21st by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. Since January 21st, there have been 6,049 posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by mayors mentioning either coronavirus or COVID-19. Since just Saturday, March 14th, 247 posts mentioned restaurants or bars closing. In the same span. 67 posts mentioned specifically retail stores closing.

With Quorum, you can learn of these updates as soon as mayors make announcements with alerts. Receive notifications either by email or as a push notification to your phone so you can put a plan in action as soon as possible as it relates to product shipments, employee pay, or budget estimates.

Cut Through the Noise with Primary Source Dialogue in Real-Time

As coronavirus policies change by the minute, it can be challenging to be sure that every message you’re hearing is verified. Just this week Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has spent numerous press conferences dispelling the rumor that he is putting a shelter-in-place policy across the state.

However, when relying on primary source dialogue from Quorum, you can be sure you’re getting information straight from the official account rather than having to interpret secondary sources. When you have to act quickly, you don’t want to spend time fact-checking new policies.

Engage Policymakers While Social Distancing

As coronavirus spreads nationwide, there may be cities and county officials that you don’t have strong relationships with, yet their policies are impacting your business. With Quorum, you have an integrated system that has both the contact information for these officials and an email tool to send emails en masse. Even better, automatically personalize your emails so that even if you’re sending hundreds of emails at once, it appears to the reader as if each email is sent individually.

Let officials know how their policies impact your business and your employees so as they implement new policies or recovery plans, they consider you as a stakeholder in the decision-making process.

Bring It Together for a Clear Crisis Communications Strategy

First, draft a message that you’ll send to an official whenever a policy impacting your business is implemented at the local level so when you need to respond, you don’t have to debate messaging internally. Then, set an alert in Quorum so anytime an official mentions “shelter in place”, “closure”, or some other keyword related to your industry. Finally, as soon as you get that alert, go into your pre-drafted message and send it to the relevant local officials in that region.

Your public affairs team needs to keep up with the rapidly changing government response to coronavirus. With Quorum, bring your dialogue tracking and engagement with policymakers together.

To learn more about Quorum Local, reach out to our team to see it live.

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