Coronavirus Crisis Management: Aw CRAP… where do we go from here?

Aw CRAP… where do we go from here?

[Editor’s note: Our colleague and seasoned crisis expert Jeff Chatterton was kind enough to allow us to reprint this timely piece, the title of which echoes what’s being said in boardrooms and living rooms the world over. With COVID-19 making major impact on every aspect of business world it may be hard to look forwards the future…but the steps you take now will ensure there’s a “normal” to return to for your business, its staff, and their families.]

Chances are good you’re reading this from home. I’m writing it from home.
Here’s the thing… your customers are at home right now too. They’re not spending money with you. And they’re scared to come back, even after the coronavirus chaos calms down.

Do I have your permission to speak really bluntly and directly with you? I’m not going to pull any punches, so if you’re easily offended, stop reading right now.

Here’s the thing… Either you come up with a plan to get your customers back…

… or you don’t get them back. That’s blunt, but I won’t lie to you… it’s also the truth.

Everything is different now

If you’ve flown commercially in the last ten years, you’ve gone through some pretty weird shenanigans at airport security.

▪ You’ve taken your shoes off.
▪ You’ve been forced to empty your liquids.
▪ You can’t bring your scissors or knitting needles on a plane.
▪ You definitely can’t visit the cockpit.
▪ You’ve taken your shoes off.
▪ You’ve been forced to empty your liquids.
▪ You can’t bring your scissors or knitting needles on a plane.
▪ You definitely can’t visit the cockpit.

Why are all those routines in place? 9/11 changed airport security everywhere, and those impacts are still with us nearly 19 years later. (Yes, I said 19 years. Yes… I know… I feel old too.)

What impact will the coronavirus have? More than you think.

▪ The meetings and events industry will be completely ambushed.
▪ Corporate networking receptions will be phased out in favour of ongoing virtual meetings.
▪ Even ‘traditional’ industries like government will have employees who work from home routinely.
▪ The entertainment industry is going to be shaken to its core. If you thought it was more fun to watch baseball or hockey on TV than in person, you’re not alone.
▪ The meetings and events industry will be completely ambushed.
▪ Corporate networking receptions will be phased out in favour of ongoing virtual meetings.
▪ Even ‘traditional’ industries like government will have employees who work from home routinely.
▪ The entertainment industry is going to be shaken to its core. If you thought it was more fun to watch baseball or hockey on TV than in person, you’re not alone.

There is an entire economy dedicated to gathering people into one ‘room’ to consume content – whether that content is a business conference, a hockey game, a street festival or a tourist attraction.

There are restaurants to feed the people that come to that room. Airlines that fill their seats transporting people to that room. Hotels that give people an alternative place to sleep while they’re visiting that room.

And they’re all going to be empty, unless people actually want to ATTEND that room. And right now… they don’t want to.

Jeff Chatterton
CEO, Checkmate Public Affairs