By Jennifer Borba von Stauffenberg
It’s been a while since we have posted and that’s because we have been busier than ever. Turns out a global pandemic, a race revolution and the most meaningful and critical election of this lifetime puts some importance on messaging.
Here are some of the things we have learned along the way that have always been true, but are more important now than ever before.
- Pause for compassion. We get it… you have been planning the launch for months and suddenly there is a major announcement in the news that is impacting the lives of millions and all of the sudden, what you have been preparing for has derailed and you so badly want to keep things going… don’t. Just take a moment to pause. If you aren’t sure when it’s an appropriate time to get things going, ask some of your trusted colleagues. At Olive, we check in with media and other public relations colleagues to ensure we are not being tone deaf.
- Have compassion. People are a little fired up and on the edge… are you noticing the social media commentary is a bit wild lately? People have a shorter than usual, almost non-existent, fuse right now… it’s okay to hide a comment here and there, but do not provide an emotional response. Take a deep breath and ask yourself what truly needs to happen next. Sometimes, you just need to walk away and let it be, sometimes you need to delete, and sometimes, you need to pull the conversation off the wall and into a private message.
- Step outside of the problem before you try to solve it. Always try to remember in a crisis that you need to be calm before you make any decisions and inform the most critical people on your team. You should never be alone. Having a supportive group who aligns with a decision is key.
- Have a crisis plan and a communication tree that reminds you and your team what to do when something goes wrong and who needs to be informed. I made it nearly 20 years into my career without a major crisis and this year, there have been more than I can even count. It’s important to be prepared and have a plan.
- Lead with your values. Nobody wants to be sold to these days; people want to know that their hard earned money is going to good people. Goodness has become more important than ever.
- Be creative. There is so much noise in the world. If it’s not going to put a smile on someone’s face, don’t bother.
- Education is critical to making good choices. If you have something that’s better for someone, educate them. If you have deliberated for hours or months on a decision that has led you to where you are, educate those around you. The odds are they will understand when you explain why you got where you were going.
- It’s okay to celebrate. It can be difficult to feel like it’s okay to celebrate wins when people are suffering, but everyone needs to be acknowledged and celebrated.
What are some of the new things you are learning? We’d love to hear from you and we hope you are staying happy and healthy.