Can we only discuss COVID now?

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Yea, broadly it does feel that way. I went on Harvard Business Review this morning — my first mistake! ** cymbal ** — and it was 11 straight articles about virus and business impacts. After that, I sat down to write a post and an email for one client I have. I thought about some different angles and then I came back to virus stuff, because it feels like discussing anything else is not really in the cards for the near-term.

I think the broad way people are looking at all this is:

  • “I have a couple of news sources where I get the hard news.”
  • “I get some inspirational and fun and uplifting stories online, like from Instagram accounts.”
  • “I call my friends more where I can.” {That’s reflected in call volume numbers. Verizon said it’s seen an average of 800 million wireless calls daily on recent weekdays, almost 2x the call volume on Mother’s Day, per the WSJ. And AT&T said wireless voice minutes last Monday increased 39% from the average Monday.}
  • People like Brene Brown, who was profiled on 60 Minutes last night, out here arguing that you shouldn’t even really watch the news. I’d agree with that to a point, but it’s still worthwhile to broadly know what’s up.

Here’s a brief tangent on positive vs. negative news/inputs

A lot of people do want everything to be positive and rah rah all the time, even though some research has indicated that’s BS — and let’s be honest, it’s not real life either. Sometimes life sucks, and I think we need to appreciate that. Broadly there’s a whole discussion around “the trophy generation” in the last 10 or so years. The “trophy generation” is also the generation that most populates Instagram, which is theoretically the most positive social network (even though it’s really bad for young women and depression). So maybe all these people can only take good news? That’s a problem. We love good news. Good news is great. And while I’m not arguing to be negative all the time, you need a balance of positive stuff and realism — otherwise you live in an odd fantasy land. Ya know?

Back to this content stuff for a moment

So, can you talk about other stuff?


I’d argue you can discuss issues around panic and fear, negative emotions, loss aversion, how long the effects might be felt in your industry, etc. In that way, you are discussing the virus but not just giving “confirmed cases” (meaningless data) and “deaths” (sad) stuff out all the time.

I would say a lot of how we are presenting around coronavirus as “marketing people” or “sales people” is tone deaf, yes.

When you keep pushing out your webinar about “high-growth employer branding,” I myself would call that “profiteering.” Or maybe just being clueless, since very few businesses right now are “high-growth.” Some others would argue “Well, business needs to be done. We need a sense of normalcy.” Both arguments have merit and value, relative to your personality and psychological makeup.

But do I think most of your stuff that’s not about the virus will probably be ignored or deleted unless it’s a really positive Instagram post?

Yes, probably.

What do you think? Can we discuss other things?

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