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It’s Not Business As Usual

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There are times when a plan needs adjustment and the onslaught of COVID-19 has become one of those times. Plans are written on paper not set in stone for a reason.

I was in the middle of a four article series on GSOT (Goals, Strategy, Objectives, Tactics). The day after I published the article on strategy, we started to lose all sense of normalcy.

I skipped talking about objectives last week because it didn’t seem as relevant as talking about whether you should continue your marketing and public relations efforts with one of the biggest health crises in the last century playing out.

The plan had been to come back to GSOT and talk about objectives this week but I’m going to bump the last two articles for the foreseeable future. The topic is relevant but it just seems out of place considering the current situation.

The unexpected sometimes happens and plans sometimes need adjusting.

Instead of focusing on marketing and public relations topics as I normally do, I’m going to focus on you. I’m going to share some resources that I hope you will find as useful as I have.

If anything, we are always humans first. I’ve had a hard time getting done what I need to get done over the past week. I’m guessing you might have been experiencing a similar problem.

It’s hard to ignore that it’s not business as usual. It’s hard to know when things are going to return to a sense of normal.

The doom and gloom about the possible infection rates and the economy are themselves enough to make one just want to crawl into bed and never come out ever again. And, every day it seems like things getting worse. It’s not good for the psyche.

I found myself wondering, “Is there going to be an economy when this is over?” It’s not a good place to be but I also found the “just have a positive attitude” comments and articles really annoying which was why I was happy to read Christoper Penn’s article, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Right Now.

I was reading marketing articles and going into forums where everybody was doing their best to find be positive but the only thing I was thinking was, “Wow, these people are in serious denial about what is happening right now.” I was starting to wonder if I was the only one who felt the way I did. Then I attended Michael Smart’s webinar, Confronting the Crisis – in PR, in the Economy, in Life. He was experiencing the same feelings but he gave some great strategies on how to deal with them.

You should really watch the webinar but one of the best pieces of advice was to only look at the news twice a day. When I’ve followed this advice, it’s really helped.

While working from home is a solution for some people, it’s not necessarily easy. Especially if you’re not used to it. Gini Dietrich has written a couple of articles on this over at Spin Sucks. You can find them here and here. Laura Petrolino followed up on these articles with a post with some great resources for helping communicators stay sane during this crisis.

Life isn’t normal right now. Everything feels uncertain. If you feel anxious, I promise your not the only one. I’m there with you and I’ve talked to many people who are there with us as well but with adversity comes opportunity. It’s there, you just have to find it.

It’s not business as usual and I’m not treating it as such. You might have noticed that little red button at the top of the page. I’m in business to help organizations and right now the normal playbook has been put away. If you need some advice on marketing/public relations or if you just want to pick my brain, I’m here for you. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

In the meantime, I hope you and your loved ones stay safe.

Shane Carpenter
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