Here’s the email I sent to my mailing list on March 12, 2020:
I had two emails queued up this week but didn’t press send.
One was to promote a new YouTube video. One was to promote a product. But the timing just didn’t feel right amidst all of the chaos happening all around us. Now, here we are…
Me in your inbox… And you probably wondering:
Ross… What are you doing?
Well here’s the thing… I’ve been scrolling through my inbox and seeing a lot of bad practice. Don’t get me wrong. Everyone’s gotta eat… So I realize some folks are getting desperate and are itching to find ways to climb up in the world of relevance and clicks. But it’s important to recognize when you should step back and be quiet and when you should react.
I first mentioned “Reactive Storytelling” in 2012.
The idea of reactive storytelling was simple: Brands take notice of something happening around them… React to it… Add a brand spin.. And capitalize on the moment.
Marketers: This isn’t one of those moments.
This isn’t the Super Bowl.
The same way you don’t put a logo on a graphic to commemorate Remembrance Day or Memorial Day — You don’t try to take advantage of emotions during a pandemic. If you’re able to help people… By all means — Do it. If you’re able to educate people (with authority)… By all means — Do it.
But if you’re asking your team to come up with clever subject lines that plays off of COVID19 — It’s not a good look. It’s bad practice and you deserve every unsubscribe you get.
So be smart & be empathetic.
Now, if you’ve read this far — I do want to share with you a simple thought.
It’s okay to step away from the news & press for a little while.
It can be very rewarding to shift your focus from the chaos on the TV screen and Twitter to things you can actually control. A shift of your focus to things that upon completion will make you feel good is a great place to allocate your attention. It could be writing. It could be coding. It could be selling. It could be reading. It could be drawing. It could be emailing. It could be jogging. It could be calling an old friend and just chatting a bit. Folks…
Don’t be afraid to step away.
I know a lot of us are glued to our computers and phones because it’s our job. But it’s important to find a way to step back and prioritize your own well being as well.
Here’s a few resources that I’ve seen that might help anyone having difficulties coping and dealing with all the blues on the news:
- 5 Steps to Living with Uncertainty During Coronavirus by Inna Khazan Ph.D., BCB
- What Parents Can Do to Manage Coronavirus Stress in Kids
- Under One Roof: Home Together During the Coronavirus Pandemic by Alexandra H Solomon Ph.D.
I’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon.
Until then… Stay safe folks. ✌🏾
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