Coronavirus (COVID-19) communications support and templates: Bereavement communications

No one is immune to the impact that COVID-19 is having across the country. Unfortunately, over the last couple of weeks, some of us may have lost colleagues, councillors or local volunteers to the virus. The death of a colleague, volunteer or elected representative will always be extremely difficult. COVID-19 presents even more challenges and difficulties.


There is simply no easy way to communicate with a bereaved family or grieving colleagues.

Here are some resources that may help you in this difficult process:

CIPR guidance on communicating the death of a colleague, elected official or volunteer

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Local Public Services Communications has prepared guidance on communicating the death of a colleague, elected representative or volunteer from COVID-19. The document aims to provide guidance to assist managers and others. It outlines steps an organisation, the communications service and its employees should take following the death of a colleague.


Here are some examples of how councils are dealing with this sensitive issue:     

Southwark Council communications protocol for the death of a colleague

Southwark Council has shared their communications protocol for the death of a council colleague due to suspected COVID-19. The guidance offers suggestions on sensitive messaging, supporting your team and advises on potential media interest that may arise.