It’s no secret that 2020 is one of the most challenging years on record — and it isn’t even over yet. I’ll spare you the list of things that went wrong, surprised us for the worse, and upended norms we thought would never change. These times call for a major pivot for organizations and businesses seeking to survive until the pandemic is behind us.
Let’s look at some tips I offer to help, based on 25-plus experience years in the public relations industry.
1. Grieve and Acknowledge.
In light of the unprecedented challenges we face today, it’s time for an all hands on deck meeting. Get your team together and first acknowledge that we are all grieving the loss of our former, “normal” lives. This is both in our personal and work lives. This is a horrendous time for everyone, and acknowledging that fact is the most human — and humane — thing to do.
“We’re feeling a number of different griefs. We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different,” said David Kessler, one of the world’s foremost experts on grief. “Just as going to the airport is forever different from how it was before 9/11, things will change and this is the point at which they changed. The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.”
We need to acknowledge this sense of grief before we can move on to the next steps.
2. Evaluate and Determine.
Next, evaluate where your brand is in this new business landscape. Ask yourself if you are still relevant in light of the “new normal.” For example, a locksmith is still relevant, maybe even more so as we see heightened concerns about security due to economic and social unrest.
Sadly, restaurants are not in the same boat. It boggles the mind to think that in January 2020 we were talking about ways to build a new restaurant, and now, in August, we are seeking stop-gap solutions just to keep restaurants from going out of business.
Ask yourself: what does my organization offer that will be useful to customers and keep…