“These are the times that try men’s souls,” wrote Thomas Paine on December 23, 1776. What Paine was writing about in his essay “The Crisis” was about how Americans were being tested in their ability to stand up for their country and their newly won freedom.
Paine went on to say, “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
I remember when Dan Rather anchored the CBS Evening News, as that network was going through tough times, and he changed his nightly sign-off to one word, “Courage.” That’s what we all need right now, courage.
Dan recently wrote,
“When we emerge from this, we must remember what society needs in order to function more equitably and justly. At the same time, please let us protect the embers of light that makes life livable.
We are left with a lot of time to sit and think. That is the nature of this particular crisis. The news is grim, and will likely get grimmer. But there is still joy and hope. There can be. There must be.”
Fred Rogers was born the day I was writing today’s blog, March 20, 1928. Mr. Rogers was always quick to share with us what his mother told him in times of trouble, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
This week, some helpers appeared, to give those of us in media and advertising some new ideas and encouraging thoughts on how we can help our clients (and ourselves) through the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Gordon Borrell & Borrell Associates
The first helpers of the week were Dave Morgan, CEO of Simulmedia; Matt Coen, president of Second Street Media; Matt Sunshine, Managing Partner at The Center for Sales Strategy; Jim Brown, EVP of Sales for Borrell Associates; Corey Elliott, EVP of Local Market Intelligence for Borrell; and Gordon Borrell, CEO. They presented a free webinar titled, “Crisis Marketing for Local Media.” Here’s a link to the recording: https://wordpress.borrellassociates.com/crisis-marketing/
Not only did Gordon and his associates give actionable ideas for helping local agencies and media companies on how to serve local businesses during this global pandemic, but even the format of the presentation itself was an excellent blueprint of what every media organization should be doing on the local level, right now.
I highly recommend viewing this webinar and using Gordon’s slides in your own presentation for your marketplace.
You’ll learn how to help your clients who are struggling with declining sales and customer distractions. You’ll learn what businesses might actually thrive with the right marketing, and how you can help them establish their local voice as community leaders.
When the recovery begins, you’ll know what those who are suffering will need most from you.
The next helpers were Tom Webster and John Rosso. Tom Webster (Senior Vice President, Edison Research) and John Rosso (President, Market Development of Triton Digital) delivered the latest data in their annual “The Infinite Dial” webinar.
With most people sheltering in their homes, and with one third of American households without a single OTA radio receiver, the presentation provided real insights into why radio stations need to be paying close attention to their streams. In most America homes today, the smart speaker is the radio, and Amazon’s Echo, dominates. You can view the presentation deck here: https://www.edisonresearch.com/the-infinite-dial-2020/
The Research Director
The third helper of the week was Charlie Sislen, partner in The Research Director, Inc. I’ve known Charlie since his days at Eastman Radio in New York City and have always found him a go-to person when you need help.
Charlie presented a short, to the point, webinar on “Advertising in Uncertain Times.” During that webinar he gave a link to a webpage you will want to bookmark on your browser: https://researchdirectorinc.com/hot-topics/
In addition to the material Charlie covered in his webinar, you’ll find constantly updated information, ideas and facts in his “Radio Survival Kit.”
“These are uncertain times. Nearly every aspect of our lives are changing due to the spread of COVID-19. Research Director, Inc. strives to help our clients and the radio industry at large, weather this storm by gathering the strongest and most informative data and opinions available.
It may be an understatement to say that we are living in unusual times. Every American’s life has been disrupted and there is a real concern for what will happen next.
While it may seem minor compared to other events that are pressing right now, this is a time when radio, especially local radio, excels. It is important for everyone to realize that this is not business as usual, and our industry’s ability to adapt is the secret of our long-term success.”
Focus on the Future
It always seems, in times like these, that things will never get back to normal. But they always do.
Be optimistic, you really don’t need to fill your basement up with toilet tissue. The stores will soon be fully stocked once again and offering you coupons to buy it.
We’re in this together.
Let’s “be the helper” and help one another to get through this.
This Monday morning (3/23/2020) I opened my email to find this email from The Wizard Academy. I wanted to share it with you. I hope you will share it with others.
Wizard Academy Update:
Advertising in a time of crises.
We just sat down with Roy and filmed a quick video of some very encouraging wisdom and insight for small business owners and advertisers during this extremely difficult time we are all facing.
This is our small way of giving hope to small businesses that you don’t need to simply give up and fade away, but can actually succeed and grow in this season.
-below is the direct link to the video: