By Joe Carter, communications director, Colenso BBDO
It’s a universally unprecedented time in history. But in reality, these moments of overwhelming newness occur more often than we like to admit.
For the majority, crises cause fear. The self-occupied nature of human existence means that a global phenomenon is one of the few things that can disrupt life within our personal bubble. The fear that the unexpected creates; it devours communities the world over – the present becomes a delusional moment of disbelief.
This external monologue, however, comes from a position of empathy, not ego. I’m not diminishing any of your personal experiences in this time. I can totally relate to that unease. From not being able to connect with my grandparents to becoming less able to attend vital AA meetings, my functional and emotional routine has dissipated. It’s Maslow stuff. The stuff we learned at school, but never truly considered to be of any real benefit beyond the walls of the classroom.
What frustrates me is that these challenging times happen every day, yet we’re blind to respond to them in a positive way. Instead, we indulge in the negativity of the moment, hoping it will all blow over soon.
The reframe to take those negative moments, overlay them with gratitude, and create a different experience from them – that’s the fertile psychological behaviour that academics talk about, but very few action. We are obsessed with being an industry or thought leader, rather than a leader of action. There’s irony in the fact that baking fame into people and brands is my job. Yet there are several brand guideline books flying around our virtual world, explaining crisis comms and how to tactfully respond to it as an opportunity – these are useful, but why now?
We are living in unprecedented times every day. Not in crisis, per se, but the world is constantly changing. The opportunity to create, to connect, to solve problems, to be of service. They’re limited only to the way we, as humans, respond to each scenario. Even now.
Now is the time to stand up and be heard. As a brand, to be of service to your customers and their community. As a human, to respond with kindness, helpfulness and integrity.
This should be the norm, not the new norm.