Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may not directly affect your brand or business operations, but communicators must keep apprised of the situation to prevent unintentional missteps during the crisis. Here’s what you need to know to protect your brand right now.

Pause all social media posts, email sends

Many of us schedule social posts or mass emails in advance for convenience. Make sure you’ve canceled all scheduled posts and sends to avoid accidentally posting insensitive or irrelevant content. Reevaluate your content through the lens of the high tension and sadness that accompanies violent conflict.

If you don’t have anything relevant to say, don’t say anything

This goes for media relations, as well. While reporters are looking for angles related to the crisis, unless you have a direct connection to the crisis such as expected supply chain disruptions or workforce concerns, hold off on commenting.

Sincerely express support for the people of Ukraine

If your audience is used to hearing from you and would be confused by your accounts going dark, an expression of support for the people of Ukraine and all those affected in eastern Europe can let your audience know where your company stands.

Review and remind employees of your cyber security policies 

Many foreign leaders are expecting Russia to launch cyber-attacks along with their ground operations in Ukraine. Regardless of your company’s location or industry, always avoid clicking links that you’re not completely sure are legitimate or downloading unexpected files. Check the email address of senders, and double check phone numbers that send links by text. This will ensure that your company and your employees stay safe and away from the threat of cyber-attacks.

Monitor the situation from trusted and reliable sources

A lot of disinformation can crop up during crises, and quickly disseminate via social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Rely on trusted news sources to guide your actions. If you see a piece of information that may influence brand strategy, find a second source reporting the story to ensure its credibility.

Unless you have a direct line to Russia to stop their aggression, there’s not much we can do right now except watch, wait and express solidarity. Acting without information, making assumptions about the situation and putting out content or statements are all traps that can make your brand appear tone-deaf, insensitive or ill-informed.