I feel like these are important questions. I will try to take them one-by-one.
The tone-deaf line
It does feel like the rise in our fascination with entrepreneurship has led everyone to look at crisis as “an opportunity” or “a moment.” I suppose that has some validity, but broadly I don’t think coronavirus is a brand moment.
Relative to the widgets you sell, I think there are ways to do this and topics to discuss, i.e. work-from-home, new normal, next normal, psychology of fear, psychology of confusion, stasis, uncertainty, etc. You may have to blow up your content calendar a little bit, yes. Bosses and marketers that are very concerned with process and control may have confusion there, but it’s a necessity.
The “profiteering” line of the “tone deaf” discussion is interesting. People need to sell things and drive revenue and afford employees and make their quarters and get praised by their boss. So, if you are coming hard with software sales pitches in this specific moment, are you “profiteering” or just “doing your job?” Heady question, actually. I would say you are actually “doing your job,” although maybe the need to hit numbers needs to be slightly relaxed in this moment, because it’s not biz as usual overall.
That’s an organizational issue, not an individual one.
I would say, unfortunately, that the “tone deaf” line is kinda like that SCOTUS pornography argument: ideally, you know it when you see it.
What about the positive/negative line?
This is a harder one.
We like positive stuff. It’s great. Uplifting stories and hospital dance routines. Awesome.
But when you only post or discuss that stuff, are you inherently ignoring the death and economic repercussions?
Now, flip side: if you only discuss death tolls and income repercussions, that’s a lot of gloom and doom.
In the past couple of weeks, I have seen people try to post uplifting and get shouted down — and then people post real stats, that are unfortunately negative, and also get shouted down.
So where is that line?
We don’t live in a perfect Instagram-ready world, as much as we want to.
We also don’t live in some hellscape.
Is the line 50/50? Maybe in this moment it should be, and we should be conscious of what we share and what conversations we initiate.
I don’t like it when people downplay realism — that helps no one — but I also don’t want to see an overriding wave of negativity either (even though some think that’s how I post).
What’s your line? PS: there has been some research of late that overly-positive thinking is mostly BS.
But again: what is your line?