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COVID-19 has spread across the world, leading to unprecedented lockdowns and an unpredictable business environment for companies everywhere. This paper provides an analysis of FTSE 100 COVID-19 inancial reporting between the start of 2020 and 3 April and highlights the uncertainty facing UK-listed companies and the investment community as we move into uncharted waters.

In these turbulent times, clear messaging and good communication matter more than ever.  Whether supporting staff through this difficult period, providing customers with up-to-date information or offering the public valuable insights into the fight against COVID-19, it is important to get the tone, message and medium right.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the first global pandemic to unfold in the era of social media, with an unprecedented volume of conversations going on around us. Every 45 milliseconds, a COVID-19 related tweet enters the conversation

There is nothing about Covid-19 that is business as usual. Yet for some, a ‘business as usual’ mindset remains the default position. When the virus is defeated, there will be time enough for Parliamentary probes and public inquiries but in the heat of the battle, stopping for a squabble about the Government’s messaging is only impeding the fight.

COVID-19 has fast-forwarded the practice of working from home and collaborating virtually with colleagues. What would have taken years to become common practice in large corporations has happened overnight. Rather than relying on meeting in person, millions of workers are turning to a variety of technological solutions to stay connected.

For now, company guidance may seem almost irrelevant in an environment where no-one knows what the future holds. However, even this extraordinary state of uncertainty does not absolve companies completely from trying to at least educate their investors and guide them to the extent that they can. Moreover, let us hope that in a few weeks’ time, when there is at least a little bit more clarity, the question will arise again as to what to tell the market.