How to communicate in a crisis.
Greetings from New York, California, Edmonton, and beyond, where our newly-remote workforce is maintaining a strict social distance.
The U.S. is now leading the world in coronavirus cases, and our heart goes out to the small businesses, service staff, gig workers and so many others whose incomes have evaporated overnight. We hope everyone is as healthy and safe as possible.
Our own industry hasn’t (yet) seen the kind of upheaval of many others, and for that we’re thankful. This crisis has, however, served as a critical reminder that clear, accurate, and compelling information is more important than ever.
It’s a tenuous time to be in any industry, where many of us have lost the ability to predict what the next few months will bring. But for those of us in the comms world, one thing has become clear: Clear, concise, accurate and compelling information is more critical than ever.
We aren’t just talking about the update emails being sent by seemingly every company under the sun (oh hey, Rubberstamps.net! Glad to know your thoughts on COVID-19). We mean key internal and external communications for employees and customers, on everything from market positioning to changes in company roadmaps. Look no further than the highest levels of government, where confused messaging and contradictory information has helped tank the stock market and contributed to untold numbers of deaths.
Getting comms and content right has become mission critical for companies all over the world, as they remake their strategies and messaging to reflect — and respond to — a global crisis.
As always, we are doing our best to help our clients navigate this new normal. (Are you a company who could use our help? Just reply to this email, or give us a shout here.)
We are also doing what we can to help those around us.
For our own employees, we have expanded our paid sick leave policy and are making allowances for working parents, who are now also full-time caregivers and tutors.
For those in our industry looking for work, we’ll begin using this newsletter as a place to highlight talented folks each week. (Know someone who should be featured? Message us here.)
In the meantime, please stay home and stay safe, especially those of you here in NYC. We’ll get through this together.
Some (talented) people
Judy Wong - Art Director (Contently, Scholastic)
Jordan Zakarin - Writer, Editor, Audience Developer (NBCUniversal, Yahoo)
Evan Santiago - Creative Director (Criteo, Intralinks)
Dylan Niehoff - Marketing Director (Foleon, Wolaco)
Amanda Bartolini - Marketing Ops (Show-Score)
Eileen Rivera- Community Management (Show-Score)
Ryan McCarthy - Managing Editor (Show-Score)
Linda Buchwald - Writer (freelance)
What We're Listening To
John Prine, one of the greatest American singer-songwriters, was intubated over the weekend after exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. At the time of this writing, Prine has gone from critical to stable condition but is still on a respirator.
Prine has a bunch of albums that could be reasonably regarded as his classic—1973’s Sweet Revenge, 1978’s Bruised Orange, or 1991’s The Missing Years, for starters. But the most popular choice certainly deserves its reputation. If you put on no other album front-to-back this week, let it be one of the great debut LPs of the rock era: John Prine’s 1971 self-titled record. It features many of his best-known songs, including the tear-jerking “Sam Stone” and “Hello In There,” and more tongue-in-cheek tracks like “Illegal Smile” (weed, my friends) and “Pretty Good.”
Some of the album’s songs were first made most popular by other artists. But for as transcendent as Bonnie Raitt sounds on “Angel from Montgomery,” you need to hear Prine deliver it in his conversational drawl: “How the hell can a person/Go to work in the morning/Come home in the evening/And have nothing to say?” Prayers up for Mr. Prine.