How to Prepare for the Unknown

The importance of having a clear communications plan when you’re unsure of what’s next

Recently, The Philadelphia Inquirer broke the news that Jay-Z’s Made In America festival would be cancelled for the second consecutive year after promising, in 2023, a great return to Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Parkway come 2024.

“As purveyors of change, the Made In America executive production team is reimagining a live music experience that affirms our love and dedication to music and the work we do. We promise an exciting return to the festival,” @MIAFestival wrote on X. Clapback rang out on the platform as users raised suspicions that the event may never return to the City of Brotherly Love.

Flakey communications and reiterated “promising” messaging can create confusion and distrust among a brand’s target audience and lead to the destruction of the brand itself. Without a clear, realistic path forward, audiences can be left wondering, “What’s next?” Below are a few ideas for developing an effective communications plan when you might not be sure:

Be Realistic

  • Before sharing any information or updates, ensure your messaging is realistic and truthful. Don’t speculate or make promises that you may not be able to keep.
  • Evaluate all possible reactions, outcomes, concerns and questions and craft messaging that proactively addresses them.

Be Clear

  • Create clear, direct messages that don’t leave your audience guessing as to what you mean. Leaving things open-ended can create confusion and distrust.
  • Avoid using language that alludes to possibilities that you cannot answer to, or that are unknown.

Establish Cadence

  • Establishing a regular cadence for communication can ease an audience’s anxiety by letting them know that you will keep them up to date, even if the update is that there is no new news.
  • Whether via weekly newsletters or daily social posts, stay in touch with your audience, reiterate key messages and keep them up to date on your latest developments. Silence can create discomfort and confusion. By creating a consistent pattern of communication, your audience knows they won’t be left out of the loop.

In the end, being truthful, clear and communicative will not only benefit your brand, but your audience, as well. Next time you’re in a “what’s next?” situation, give these tips a try – or reach out to the PR experts at Maven to help you develop a plan!

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