AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

Subscribe to AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

Remember 9/11?

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. This Is Not A Drill in Light Box Trend

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.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.