Top 5 tips for Crisis Communications in Scandinavia

21/12/2019By scandinaviancomChange Communications, Christina Rytter, Crisis Communications, Management Communications, PR Tips & Trends, Scandinavian Communications, Social Media, SoMe Tips & Trends, Strategic Communications

By Christina Rytter, Founder & Crisis Communications Advisor

When crisis or change hits like a bolt from the blue it’s normal for even the most experienced executive to feel concerned. Especially when you want to be at the forefront of things. Here are my Top 5 tips on how you navigate successfully through the storm when a crisis or change hits you in the Scandinavian market:

1. Response quick – but well thought out

A quick response is key in a critical situation, because it gives you the chance to handle and control the situation and thereby the outcome proactively with a higher possibility for success. BUT the quick response must be flanked by carefully thought out communications – especially what key messages you need to deliver in the conversation with your different stakeholders.

Scandinavians are very critical and direct – and we don’t hold back with the questions. This apply to both employees, journalists, clients, business partners and competitors. So, you really need to prepare. I find that one of the most effective ways in crisis and change communications in Scandinavia is to draw up and work with different realistic crisis or change scenarios and plan, what to do and say in each imaginary scenario – and which communications channels will suit your messages and conversations with different internal and external stakeholders best.    

2. Get ready for conversation

  • What is your key message? Your communication is clearer, when you only focus on one or few key messages.
  • Who are you talking to? (Your key target group/stakeholders)
  • Which information do the person/stakeholders need?
  • Which situation are they in? Communicate the messages relevant to them, not to you.  
  • Choose your role based on the person/target group. Are you formal or informal? How do you dress? What language and body language do you use? BUT be yourself!
  • Prepare, prepare and prepare.
  • Train, train and train.

3. Take control over your body language

Your body language is your greatest asset, when you know how to control and use it. When you learn to use your body language proactively combined with clear messages, you can be a brilliant and authentic leader and communicator. BUT if you don’t have your body language under control – and that is quite normal in a crisis or change situation, when you might get nervous – then it can work so much against you, that nobody hears what you say. Well-known international studies show, that up to 80 % of people’s perception of you will be from your body language. That is if you fail to control it. Otherwise people listen. Scandinavian will mostly listen – if it’s not to boring. And if you serve beer (or something stronger for the Finns) they will really listen. 😉.    

Control what we see:

  • Posture: Straight back and raised head express security, authority and energy.
  • Choose a suitable grimace for the occasion; Seriousness, enthusiasm or joy?
  • Use gestures that support the message.
  • Firm eye contact exudes security and credibility.
  • If you avoid eye contact it signals insecurity, uncertainty – and thus untrustworthiness.
  • Pay attention to your bad habits and patterns – they especially come out when you are nervous under pressure.
  • Look fresh and well-rested (of cause sometimes that might be a little difficult in a crisis).

Control what we hear:

  • Deep and calm voicing creates trust and credibility.
  • Variation in voice creates dynamism and awareness of the recipient.
  • Talk slowly – without getting boring. It exudes heaviness and credibility.
  • Breath deep and use (rhetorical) pauses.

4. Keep calm
Even the most experienced executive can get nervous under pressure in a difficult crisis or change situation. That is just human nature.

What happens when you get nervous?

  • You protect your body with your arms, turn your back, avoid eye contact, smile stiffly and stave off.
  • You sweat, get pale, get ticks, mess with your hair or perform other unconscious bad habits. What are your bad habits under pressure?
  • You move uneasily; rocks or turns on the chair. Tilting back and forth on your feet.
  • You breathe quickly and superficially.
  • You speak faster and get a sharper and lighter voice.

Then what to do?

  • Breathe deeply and plant both feet into the floor.  
  • Lower your talk rate and use (rhetorical) pauses.
  • Open your arms, straighten your back and look up and out.
  • Make and maintain eye contact – possibly look between the eyes if real eye contact is unpleasant.
  • Only smile when it suits the occasion.
  • Sit and stand still.
  • Choose a chair that stands firm. Otherwise you will quite easy start rocking or turn it.
  • If at a presentation: Go consciously among the audience.
  • Avoid carbonated water – so you don’t burp (when you breathe quick and superficially).  

5. Use the crisis to your advantage

When your response quickly and are well prepared, you can turn the difficult situation into your advantage. By working out a carefully thought out message platform with key messages as a first step. And train through the different scenarios with message- and media training, you can navigate successfully through. Get your Crisis Communications Action Plan in order; Who do you need to communicate to as a first step? When and how? If you handle crisis and change like this, people will understand you much better – and even get on your side. When you keep calm and friendly – and communicate in a clear and authentic way you be at the forefront of things. And as always, the most important thing is to prepare – and train, train, train!   

Need help with Crisis Communications in Scandinavia?

Don’t hesitate to contact Scandinavian Communications if you need help. We are passioned with heart and mind to help you handle crisis and change so you can communicate with impact and leverage your business in the Scandinavian markets.

8 Tips to improve your Instagram marketing

08/12/2019By scandinaviancomContent Marketing, Scandinavian Communications, Social Media, SoMe Tips & Trends

By Christina Rytter, Founder & Trusted Communications Advisor

Instagram as B2B social media is growing at a rapid speed in all Scandinavian markets and the platform has some quite strong business solutions to support your brand building and direct lead generation to support sales. Get my Top 8 tips on how to improve your marketing effort on Instagram:

1. Understand your audience
You gotta understand your Scandinavian audience.  That’s key to success on Instagram. Scandinavians from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland are similar – but not the same!

2. Talk with them, not at them
Ask you Scandinavian audience questions. Always give a quick answer to questions and clearly communicate what you do. That’s a big key on Instagram.  

3. Use relevant hashtags
Hashtags are Instagram’s signposts. Use relevant hashtags, but not too many so it doesn’t look messy and get confusing for your audience. Analyse and test your hashtags, to find out which ones create the best impact for you and your company. Remember to brand your hashtags.

4. Know when to post
It’s vital for the amount of engagement on your Instagram posts, that you post at the right time. Instagram engagement peaks mid-day and mid-week, similar to the other major social networks. Wednesday at 11 a.m. is the overall best day to post to Instagram – followed by Friday at 10-11 a.m. The most consistent engagement is from Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday; go enjoy your day off – few will read your posts anyway 😉. Different industries also can peak a bit more on different times.


5. Create beautiful visuals
Instagram is a very visual platform. So to make it work to your advantage, you need to give your posts a distinctive look with tailored appeal to your Scandinavian target groups. Our vision trumps all other senses. Research has shown that when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. Visual branding plays a huge role in not only attracting your clients and stakeholders – but also in making you and your company memorable and creating a positive perception in the minds of your key audience.

6. Add Calls-to-action
When you add Calls-to-action in your posts you get more direct pay-off on your work and have concrete KPIs to measure. When you create an Instagram Business Profile you get the possibility to ad different buttons on your profile besides of working with direct links in your Bio. Use emojis like arrows, hand pointing or the star to direct you audience towards the link. Also, it works well to insert a call-to-action text in your visuals directing people into what they should do next. You can ask them to buy your product, visit your website or get in touch with you.

The key is to be creative, so people take action. Test new versions to see which one engages your audience the most.


7. Tell Stories
On Instagram the best brand storytelling involves telling snackable, visual micro-stories that tie into your brand’s values and purpose. On Instagram it’s the people and the brands who tell the most interesting stories that build the massive audiences. When you use Instagram for a personal account develop a strong brand presence that shows, what you are passionate about in life.


8. Work with influencers
Adding Instagram influencer marketing into your overall SoMe-strategy can help to increase your brand awareness, grow your followers and thereby drive new leads and sales. Influencer marketing can be quite effective. It removes the barriers of traditional advertising when customers are introduced to your brand from a trusted source. When an influencer recommends your product or service on their channels, it comes across as a trusted recommendation from a friend. Therefore, it can have a huge impact on your brand awareness and sales support.