Network television, ESPN’s 24 hour vault of old sports, radio and social media are teeming with corona catch-phrases, like “new norm,” “in it together” and “stay safe.” I’m already over the sappy commercials attempting to connect with me emotionally through our shared boredom and uncertainty. What I really want is to feel normal — The Old Norm.
I was sitting in the barn with my husband last weekend for a change of scenery, and we were listening to a local country radio station (same station the pigs listen to 24/7; they prefer country music). The announcer went on and on about how “they’re there for us during these unprecedented times.” The last time I checked, they were there for me when there weren’t unprecedented times; that’s one of the nice things about radio and music as the background of our lives. I didn’t need to be reminded they’re still there. All that message did was remind me that I should be anxious and fearful; it did nothing to put my mind at ease.
As we go about setting goals, creating marketing messages and developing events and promotions, I can’t emphasize enough how much people want to feel normal and positive. We all want to feel at peace when it seems like nothing is predictable anymore. The taste of a purchased meal in a familiar place, the comfort of a night at home with family (because we chose it), or the smell of the gas pump because we had somewhere to go are comforting beyond belief right now.
As you plan your 2nd and 3rd quarter communication activities, consider your customers’ uncertainty and discomfort as a driving “pain,” and be the hero who solves that for them. Your customers, members, clients and public will thank you for it and see you as a stabilizing factor in their unpredictable lives.