Effective communication has been a critical part of the Government campaign to stop the spread of COVID19.

Successfully conveying the key message around staying at home and staying apart from others could not be more critical – in this case, a clear message helps save lives.

When bidding for work on any major project, messaging and comms is also critical.

Here are four lessons we can learn and apply:

1) LANGUAGE – MAKE IT CLEAR NOT CONFUSING: With coronavirus, a new term – ‘social distancing’ – has entered our lexicon. But it may be confusing for some. More effective is the simple “stayathome protecttheNHS save lives” mantra.

In bid terms, the development of this core message is the “win theme” stage.

Our first questions embarking on a pitch for any major project should be: What are the core messages we want to convey? How do we package them? How do we ensure our messages are crystal clear?

2) BRING YOUR WORDS TO LIFE: The message to ‘stay apart 2m’ is fine – but many people will wonder how far 2m actually is?

We’ve seen some brilliant examples of this being brought to life eg. Two shopping trolleys, half a parking space, etc

Likewise “wash your hands for 20 seconds” is less effective than “wash your hands for as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.”

In a bid – especially in infrastructure bids where highly technical engineering and design concepts are a big feature – we need to find engaging ways of explaining what we mean. Often, this might mean using a clearly annotated image in place of complex text.

3) CONSISTENCY IS KEY: Throughout the lock-down, the three-pronged message has been conveyed to us in every aspect of our lives, every single day – from the daily Government briefing, to messaging at the supermarkets and in the material we receive from our schools and education providers.

Any pitch for work must also maintain the same, consistent message – a message that underpins every page of a submission and leaves the client in no doubt as to what is being ‘sold’ to them.

4) DON’T JUST STATE – EXPLAIN: Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, has become a household name during the pandemic – explaining the state of play, what actions must be taken to protect everyone and stop the spread of the infection and why.

In bidding terms, the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ are also critical.

It is easy to state that our team / alliance / joint venture has the best solutions or the best track-record for x, y and z. But where is the evidence? Are we providing a coherent, compelling and credible narrative?

For further information on our bidding and communications services, please contact Simon.Cunnington@pcsg.co.uk