Depending upon where you live, the rules that keep you sheltering in place may be changing. Just as the scientific community urges us to not return immediately to our normal routines, your messaging should also take a slow, measured path to messaging as usual.
As much as we would love to pretend that the past few months never happened, they did and many of us are still feeling their impact. That means it’s important to maintain empathy in your messaging.
Inspiring some level of hope can only strengthen your message.
Here are some things we should keep in mind as we start sharing our “business as usual” messages with the masses:
- Loss. As the number of people lost to COVID-19 approaches 100,000 in the United States alone, it’s important to remember that dozens of other people were hurt by each one of those deaths.
- Fear. The unemployment in the United States is hovering around 14.7%, so many, many people are understandably worried about their futures. Yes, Congress passed a massive relief package, but that addresses short-term challenges, not long.
- Exhaustion. Many of us are doing double and triple duty. Working full time while home-schooling children. Trying to be on our best behavior while living in close quarters with our families. Cooking far more meals each day than we’re used to. Sheltering in place can be exhausting!
- Isolation. Social distancing has robbed so many of us of simple gestures of support: From the absence of hugs to handshakes, we’ve all felt some isolation. For some it’s bearable. For many it is not.
- Hope. Then there is a universal need for hope. Because we are all, at some level, dealing with loss, fear, exhaustion, and isolation, we genuinely need hope! Inspiring some level of hope can only strengthen your message.
This list is not exhaustive. Depending on what you do and whom you serve, your list will differ.
To be clear, we do not recommend a continued focus on all the challenges people face as we start sharing our messages with the masses. Instead, we believe that simply being mindful of people’s potential states of mind will lead to stronger, more authentic relationships.
The goal is to avoid tone-deafness, to earn your audience’s trust, and to connect with them on an authentic, emotional level.