This week marks one month that my husband and I have been sheltering-in-place.
It’s not a marker that brings joy like counting each month of a baby’s first year.
Living in the current epicenter of the virus, I push myself to find hope.
While, there are days when hope feels elusive and all I want to do is crawl back into bed.
But I don’t give in to these feelings!
Instead, I walk into my living room and go up to the window where hope sits waiting for me.
For me, hope is our lily plant that has started to send out green shoots.
Friends gave us the deep purple lily last year. Most likely, they bought it at a green grocer on their way to our house last Spring.
While many people would have thrown it out once the purple petals withered to brown, but my husband continued to care for it.
And it kept blossoming. Each time, flowers faded a little more. Until, despite my husband’s continued care, the plant all but disappeared. But he kept caring for his lily.
As the fox tells the Little Prince in Antione de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince:
“It is time you have devoted your rose that makes your rose so important.”
For a while, our lily played games with us. Sending up a lone leaf that quickly crumpled.
Yet as New York City shut down, our plant started to send up small green shoots. At first they looked like green specks of morse code. But slowly these shoots grew stronger like my hope.
Like small children experiencing their first spring, my husband and I walk over to the lily each day to examine its growth.
During this period, The Little Prince holds hope and inspiration for all of us.
Even better, it’s a great book to read together with your spouse or partner and/or children. It provides concrete words to help express the complex emotions we all have during these difficult times in which we now live..
Just as The Little Prince was responsible for his rose:
- Ask yourself for whom are you responsible for?
- Then reach out to that person and say, “You matter to me.”
For those of you who may be getting cabin fever or feeling closed in, my friend Chris Penn has some useful words of advice. As he eloquently wrote in his weekly newsletter:
In some ways, this is a magical time for anyone who wants to understand themselves, because, [when] so much of what is “normal” [is] stripped away, [we’re left with…] who we really are.
[Since] we may be in the situation we’re in for some time, our lockdown for the good of everyone can start to feel like imprisonment.
So [ask yourself]:
Are you within the prison, or is the prison within you?
[Then,] identify the things that make you happy, and see how much of that comes from within [you].
If you dig deep and find what makes you happy inside of yourself (as opposed to what’s outside in the world), you may be able to find that same happiness in any situation. And the prison mindset will vanish, even if you are physically confined to your [current location.]
BTW, Subscribe to Chris’s newsletter since not only is it worth your time but it’s the only place Chris publishes this information!
- Why You Need Email Newsletters To Crush Your Marketing
(Note: Chris’s newsletter is one of my 3 examples!)
To track this special period in which we’re living, some of my friends post daily journals on Facebook. They record and share their activities and feelings.
Unlike the social media feeds of the pre-virus times, these posts aren’t chock full of made-for-Instagram moments.
Instead, these posts allow us to connect with family and friends so we can get the support our physical isolation lacks. They help us to feel connected and part of our larger community.
Echoing the words of The Cluetrain Manifesto, these social media posts speak in a human voice about everyday human activities. As a result, they feel authentic and real.
As a marketer, this is a lesson in how to do social media right. Social media isn’t about pushing your brand messages to reach more and more people.
But rather, at its core, social media is about connecting with your community. This includes your employees, your prospects and customers, your peers, and others with whom you share similar interests.
With his usual combination of honesty and transparency my friend and colleague, Mark Schaefer, announced across social media that he tested positive for the coronavirus last week.
Since his wife had been sick, Mark knew the symptoms and wasn’t surprised. He was fortunate to be able to talk to his doctor and take advantage of a drive-thru testing site near his home to confirm what he suspected.
I admire Mark for sharing his illness publicly.
But more importantly, Mark’s announcement was valuable to the broader communities of which he is a member.
Because, until it inhabits the face of someone we know, the virus remains intangible.
Once the coronavirus hits someone you know, it becomes real.
So please take these precautions seriously, even if you don’t live in a “hot zone” like I do.
- Wash your hands with soap and water,
- Shelter in place,
- Use a face mask when in public places, and
- Stay 6 feet from others when you’re outside.
What does this mean for your marketing?
Take the time to think about the coronavirus and its related challenges.
Understand how the virus has changed the world as we knew it. Realize that, while your specific challenges may differ from your friends, colleagues, and neighbors, we’re all going through this period together.
Consider what you can do to help those you know. And, if you need it, be brave enough to ask for help yourself.
But, at a minimum, stop your tone-deaf marketing
Instead, rethink how you relate to your audience and they think about you.
Use this time to reach out and talk to your customers and community. Walk in their shoes. Brainstorm with them how you can help them during this difficult period.
The key to long-term success is to be human.
Shoutout to new readers: Renee, Taz, Hari, Ruchika, Eva, Rizwan, M., Leonel, S, Jay, Eleni, Carola, Ali and Katia. Welcome and thank you for joining our community.
Please stay healthy and safe.
FEATURED ARTICLE: Holiday Celebrations: What Should Your Business Do?
With major spring holidays taking place this week, the question for every marketer is: Should we be celebrating this year?
This article provides you with a set of 3 questions to answer to help you decide for your business.
Instead of a holiday promotion, perhaps a more personal, non-marketing note to your top customers may be more attuned to their needs. Even better, it can start useful conversations.
HOLIDAY INSPIRED ARTICLES:
FEATURED ARTICLE: How To Declutter Your Digital Life
Take advantage of this COVID-19 period to clean out and organize your digital life. This includes your computer, smartphone and other devices.
This in-depth article contains a broad range of related tactics you may not usually think about.
In addition to getting organized, it will help you to make sure your devices remain secure
FEATURED ARTICLE: Career Challenges For Women In Marketing
This article also includes research and data to help you make your case to your boss!
Heidi Cohen Around The Web
Heidi Cohen was selected as a Top Marketer by Foundation Inc in their list of 70+ Marketers You Need To Follow On Twitter Today
Use this list to fill your Twitter feed! It has some super smarties on it!
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