When you are as old as I am, you realize all life is a circle — and unfortunately, the circle seems to rotate from one crisis to another. Our agency has endured recessions including the Great Recession, floods, 9/11 and now, I hope, a pandemic.
When I was hired as the marketing director at an NBC-affiliate TV station, the broadcast tower collapsed in an ice storm. For an over-the-air TV station, that is a major crisis.
There has been a lot of talk of “reopening” the country to business, and I’ll celebrate that day. What is more likely to happen is that the doors will open, but the business will trickle in and slowly build back to what we expect. After 9/11, business didn’t immediately bounce back, but by the end of the year, GDP actually showed a slight increase. Yes, this crisis, like all that have gone before, will change us, but what won’t change is the fact that you need to be ready.
Now is a great time to plan. We are in a crisis state-of-emergency phase right now. We’ll move to the recovery phase shortly. Are you ready for the next stage? If you were not prepared with a crisis plan for COVID-19, it’s time to get a marketing plan in place for the COVID-19 recovery. The third phase of this crisis will be the “new reality” phase. Don’t be flat-footed again. This is the time to be first out and active.
It’s a fact, after something that has threatened our health and economic health, our societal norms and values will change. This change in typical behavior may adjust over a number of years. Yet we do know that the organizations that look ahead and plan and then execute on that plan will win. Remember 9/11 and remember what we built after that crisis. Together, we will win.