Take Immediate Action. Don’t Avoid the Conversation.
This past week while I attended the ACA Tri-State Conference I listened to camps concerned about the potential impact of Coronavirus. They were asking, “What if summer slows down or even worse shuts down?” “What if international staff can’t get to the states?” “What if parents don’t want to send their kids?” Often times when there is uncertainty, it is human nature to worry and ask: “what if?” However, as camp experts, now is not the time to panic. Parents look to you for advice. They trust you as a childcare professionals; and they will take your lead.
During this crucial time, it is imperative that relevant communication messages are carefully planned, timed and delivered. It is critical that you get ahead of the issue before any negativity starts to spread. In this instance, you need to let parents know you are monitoring the situation, and that right now you are still actively planning for a summer filled with friendship and fun. Assure them that you are taking precautions; and that you will proactively communicate with them in the upcoming weeks. The best way to reach your parents is through email and social media; however, keep all lines of communication open. If parents have questions, encourage them to contact you directly. You do not want them making assumptions or even worse spreading rumors, so ensure YOU are controlling the message.
It would be beneficial to reach out to potential families as well. Let them know you are on top of the latest advisories, but that you are still planning a fantastic summer. Explain your health policies; and introduce them to your camp nurse. This is the perfect opportunity to prove to interested parents that you can handle any situation and earn their trust.
With the timely, relevant and reassuring communications, you influence the conversations parents are having and minimize the potential impact. For more information about how to talk to your parents during these uncertain times, contact Campfire Creative Marketing at 954-817-4077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.