What to do in the time of Coronavirus?

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PR Expert Peter Shankman shared this inspiring quote:
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
-Haruki Murakami

Here's some real-world questions and advice.

“We just sent out an email to our investors telling them the market will rebound quickly, and that was BEFORE Coronavirus shut everything down. Now what should we do?”

Send out another email. Things change every day and your investors need to hear from you again. Keep focusing on the long term. Use your experience as a leader who has survived 9/11, the financial crisis of 2008 and more. In the words of George Harrison, “All things must pass.”

“How can we do a capital campaign in the middle of Covad19?”

Remind key supporters that they are building a future for our children in a time when we need this more than ever. I think it is a good time to reassure your donors that you appreciate their support and are still looking ahead to a brighter future for children.

“Why bother launching a new website when everyone is out of work?”

There are two ways to think about this: one is to launch sooner. If you’re ready-to-launch, then go for it. People are home and have more time to go online, so launch and ask for feedback. The other approach is to wait: use this time to do a deep dive and really prepare an effective launch in the summer. You can do testing with home-bound friends and family and make your launch really count.

Here are a few excerpts from leading thinkers on branding and communications in the time of Coronavirus.
Bruce Turkel looked to how we survived the financial crisis of 2008 and found this in The Harvard Business Review, “Although it’s wise to contain costs, failing to support brands or examine core customers’ changing needs can jeopardize performance over the long term. Companies that put customer needs under the microscope, take a scalpel rather than a cleaver to their marketing budget, and nimbly adjust strategies, tactics, and product offerings in response to shifting demand are more likely than others to flourish both during and after a recession.”

1. Assess opportunities. Perform a “brand triage” to determine which of your products will die, which can be stabilized, and which could possibly flourish.
2. Allocate for the long term. Don’t panic and alter a brand’s positioning. Instead, commit to reinforcing your core brand proposition.
3. Track how customers reassess priorities, reallocate funds, switch brands, and redefine value and act accordingly, and
4. Balance your communications budget. Do not spend yourself into oblivion but do not save yourself into irrelevance either.

We are working remotely and available to address any short term needs or do a deep dive to prepare your brand for what Thomas Friedman, NYT columnist, is calling “AC”—After Coronavirus. That’s the time we live in now.

Thanks to these sources:
1. Peter Shankman
2. John Quelch and Katherine E. Jocz, The Harvard Business Review
3. Bruce Turkel
4. Thomas Friedman, New York Times

Some closing inspiration from E.B. White:

"I wake up every day determined to change the world and have a fun time doing it. It makes planning a challenge sometimes."

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Langton Creative Group is a NY communications design firm dedicated to improving the way businesses and organizations interact with their audiences. We were founded as Langton Cherubino Group in 1990.

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