For many businesses and organizations, communicating during COVID-19 has mostly focused on whatever crises are most urgent. Now that the novelty of shelter-in-place has worn off and the world is working to adapt to whatever lies ahead of us, communicators are asking, “Now what?”
I know I am. While I’d advise any client to keep communicating, I haven’t followed my own advice very well. I’ve been remiss in sharing frequent updates for a number of reasons that you may be able to relate to.
What has made communicating during COVID-19 so hard
First and foremost, my every waking moment is dedicated to managing a chaotic house with young children, pets (I got a puppy in February! What terrific timing) and two working parents trying to squeeze productivity out of every moment and margin. There simply isn’t much time.
Time isn’t the only scarce resource right now. I have struggled to achieve deep focus. Creativity and big-picture strategy require a particular headspace and mindset. I don’t have either on most days. I’m either answering emails while making yet another snack for my kids, or hurrying through urgent client projects.
This crisis has evolved, so that big-picture planning is essential in ways we may not have expected. At first, I naively thought this would be a strange and temporary blip–an interruption in what would otherwise be business as usual. Now, though, there’s far more uncertainty about long-term effects on every aspect of society, from the economy, education and the safety net to consumer products, entertainment and how we approach fundamental aspects of our lives.
Finding Our Footing Together
All this uncertainty has brought back familiar feelings of self-doubt from when I launched Collective Reach: I’m not enough of an expert to contribute to the conversation.
But the act of building a business has helped me see this thought for what it is–a copout. The fact is, nobody really knows what we’re all supposed to do now. We’re stitching reality back together out of whole cloth. And my perspective brings value to this process, as does yours.
So, in the coming weeks, I’m going to be introducing a few key ideas that have helped me start to find my footing and look to the future.
That said, I’m going to do my best to avoid sounding too prescriptive. I can share ideas and curate best practices to guide clients and readers to solutions that may work for them, but we’re all figuring this out together.