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I spy with my beady eye ...

28 Mar 2020

NZ lockdown day 3 of N

With a bit of lateral thinking, there are ways to hook-in to and even exploit the COVID-19 brouhaha. More time for reflection is one of the advantages of the lockdown, for some of us at least. 

Many organizations, for instance, have sent out customer comms about what they are doing to maintain services during/despite the pandemic. Although most are matter-of-fact and boring (maybe not even branded), some are more creative and engaging, even acknowledging that COVID is not going to blow over in a couple of weeks. Most are generic, superficial and bland, often supplier-focused, whereas some are personalised, unique, detailed and customer-focused. Most appear to be one-off broadcasts, hurriedly cobbled together by teams immersed in the chaos and confusion, then slowly refined and authorized. Not many that I've seen so far even hint that there might be more to come. The odd tinge of humour is welcome.  

Unlike the vast majority of incidents and crises, a global incident such as COVID-19 or world war extends way beyond the individual organization, even its primary supply chain. The conventional incident and crisis management comms, often pre-canned as templated press releases, may not therefore be appropriate, relevant and helpful. The context, and hence the messages, are materially different. Even the anticipated modes of delivery are not guaranteed if, say, a cyberwar takes down the Internet.

I'm exploring some of the many lessons here for those of us vigilant enough to notice and think about what's going on around us, rather than being totally introspective and absorbed by dealing with the crisis. We're lucky in that we don't feel as if we are in immediate danger, we were well prepared for this and we're resilient ... which frees us from the grief and torment that others are experiencing and allows us to think clearly, but our situation could easily change if someone close to us (whether literally or figuratively) gets sick, or if the global or national crisis deepens.

More tomorrow. Hopefully.

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