We’ve all somehow ended up in the middle of a Sci-Fi movie and, to be honest, I wish I had watched more of them to know what happens after the story arcs and before it jumps the shark. By the looks of it, none of us have been preparing to take the lead in our own, weird plot twist.
But, once we’ve made it through the paralysis, the anger and the full rollercoaster of emotions often associated with the seven stages of grief, we’re going to be ready to get back to “business,” though nothing will be as usual. It’s going to be a whole new world. The reset button cleared the cache, and what was the status quo is no longer going to be the status or the quo. So, it begs the question, what happens next?
Well, “next” actually has to start now.
Based on predictive models, friends in the ICU and math/science, we’re looking at eight weeks until we start seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, EIGHT weeks. For those of you counting, that’s roughly June. We can’t remain at a standstill until June.
We live in a highly digital world where progress and innovation can be made in social isolation. Business doesn’t need to come to a screeching halt, but it does need to pivot. Recovery plans need to start, and action will need to replace reaction.
Below is a list of things we think will help our community and city friends (and anyone else) navigate these unchartered waters:
People need something to look forward to.
Events are canceled, milestones missed and moments of joy are watered down. Think about ways you can help your community/members plan ahead for the post COVID-19 world.
- Conferences postponed till the fall? Take this time to communicate more, and listen to what people are interested in for the updated event. Maybe even work on some webinar content for sales teams to discuss how to seamlessly reschedule events.
- Spring break itineraries were a wash? Can they be altered for summer road trip ideas or fall family breaks?
Turn off auto-pilot and get creative.
Everyone is looking at social media right now. They’re also checking their emails and voraciously scouring the inter-webs. Which means, if you are sending out pre-programmed messaging or information that isn’t sensitive to the time and place we are living in, it’s time to start driving your messaging again.
- Don’t pretend nothing’s wrong and don’t ignore the obvious. The world has changed and your content must, too. Check your social media posts, update your website events and add blogs, vlogs or other messaging that speaks to what you are doing and how you are supporting your constituents during this time.
- Community events are canceled, but there are creative ways to still build local love. Building Spotify playlists or live-streaming acoustic jam sessions of concerts that might have been, virtual 5ks, streaming yoga classes, take-out date nights and “on location” Netflix and FaceTime are all timely options.
Understand that everyone is feeling deeply right now and though you may be better equipped to handle stress than someone else, it’s important to remember that now is not the time to get frustrated with others.
- Businesses, small and large, will need be patient and understanding as clients get their ships righted first. Offer support as needed, but also step back to not further burden the load.
- No one is an island, so check in on the people in your life – coworkers, friends, family, peers. Everyone needs a little pick-me-up these days.
Don’t wallow, keep it moving.
There is a lot of fear, anger and despair. And everyone needs a moment to process. But don’t stay down for too long. Change happens in times like these. In 2008, the market crashed, but new businesses were born (including R&R).
- The world is locking down, but the need for connection is gearing up. Now is the time to think of ways to keep engagement strong without the usual distractions: stream story time with a librarian, host a “fireside” podcast or radio broadcast with the mayor, blog about community members going above and beyond.
- Travel is banned, but daydreaming and planning aren’t. Not to mention, when travel does come back on board, domestic travel will be more readily available than international. Create Pinterest boards for trips, offer video tours of museums and even tap some local spots to give tutorials such as how to make the perfect cup of coffee or a sneak peek of fall fashions.
Have some ideas you think might work for this new world we’re living in? Feel free to brainstorm some with us – no strings, no costs – just some friends who are here to support you and your community now and always.