While you were away

How many times have you surfaced from an important meeting only to check your iPhone and find out we’ve just launched 59 Tomahawk missiles, dropped the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan or read a Tweet warning “… if China won’t do something about North Korea, we will.”?

I’m aiming the questions at my fellow marketing communications professionals whose jobs demand they continually create informative, entertaining and, in many cases, inspiring content (despite the reality of what we see, read and hear on our news channels).

It’s a question particularly relevant to our profession and, I think, I know what you’ll say:

“Top PR and marketing professionals cannot let world events keep us from storytelling on our organizations’ behalf. It’s also more important right now to double down on our companies’ values and higher purpose in the belief that every constituent audience we serve needs to know we remain committed to doing the right thing.”

And I agree 100 percent.

But, we’re also human and while I can’t speak for you, I can’t help thinking that, despite our best-intentioned efforts to do the right thing, events are spiraling out of control.

So, I’m curious to know: When you’re not lying awake nights worrying about an upcoming shareholder meeting, a big new business pitch or rolling out a multi-phased, omnichannel marketing campaign, do you ponder the what if?

What if there won’t be an annual report this year (or any year for the next century or so)?

What if all of your organization’s noteworthy contributions end up lying buried in the rubble of an all-too-possible nuclear exchange between Trump and Putin?

How do you deal with it? Ignore it? Place your belief in the hope that things will soon settle down? And, for those of you in senior positions, do you ever discuss these subjects with your junior staff?

I’m not positing a POV either, but I ask because I know our trade press would never, ever raise the issue. Too genuine, too raw, too scary.

I’d just like to know how you’re doing, how you’re coping with the storm clouds on the horizon and if any of the above have affected the way you comport yourself on a day-to-day basis.

Input welcomed.

5 thoughts on “While you were away

  1. Thanks for the comment, Peter. While I would never minimize the cataclysmic impact and aftermath of 9/11, there was never any worry about the Twin Tower attacks somehow triggering WW III. Nowadays, though, we have Syria, North Korea and the good, old U.S. of A. doing the same kind of saber-rattling that preceded the events of August, 1914, and September, 1939, respectively. Trump is unpredictable and the military is calling the shots (literally). If the same set of characters had been in place in October, 1962, we wouldn’t be here to discuss what might happen in 2017. General Curtis LeMay and his Hawkish counterparts in the Kremlin would have triggered nuclear strikes and counter strikes that would have ended everything right then and there. Note to Millennials: Please Google Cuban Missile Crisis.

  2. I entered 2017 struggling to reassure myself of basic hope and faith in the best of humanity. Trump tests it virtually every hour now – hat spoiled little brat needs feeding and attention and we all comply. Still, faith is what keeps me going.

    There is also the course of history. Most recently 9/11. It impacted everything and overshadowed all MarCom for months, We will never forget, but the world went on, media interest refocused, marketing money was earmarked again. Unless he gets us into nuclear war, I feel Trump’s inevitable failure will draw attention away from him and make him, if not irrelevant, at least more of a joke. Or so I hope.

    This country has never experienced anything like this. And I believe we won’t ever want to again.

  3. Your response doesn’t address the emotional toll I was discussing. How do you stay focused on churning out feel good stories when @potus is picking fights with anyone and everyone.

  4. STUNT…DIVERSION…Anything to keep you away from seeing that TEAM TRUMP was up to their ears in working with the Russians in what we already know…The Russians worked to win the election for TRUMP.