Online marketing during a crisis

Rahm Emanuel is credited for saying “You never let a serious crisis go to waste”. The line gained notoriety. But over time the crisis management approach has proven to be the most effective method we have to unify our diverse constituencies. The concept also holds true for small business marketing. Those who can identify a common need and fill that need hold an advantage through the crisis. After that, we’ve seen again and again, that measures adapted in an emergency become part of the mainstream going forward.

My own business practice focuses on sustainable business redevelopment in a rural community. The topic is typically divisive and partisan. I’ve made enemies and even triggered death threats. Yet in a time of crisis, we all set down our weapons and come together. We saw the effects of this phenomenon after superstorm Sandy. Our community rebuilt from within with virtually no support from government even in the face of obvious FEMA fraud working against us. Over the past few days, I see signs that we will repeat many of the same societal behavior patterns.

Yesterday I reinvented my social media messaging in response to the current crisis. My action seems like straightforward and obvious response to anyone who may be tuned into their community’s psychological reaction to unfolding news. But since I’m no social media marketing expert -actually far from it – I won’t get into explaining that now. I just hope that other better qualified experts tackle the topic soon and that many more small businesses will follow this path to unite and build our business tribe.


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