Navigating Tough Times

During these uncertain times, it can be a comfort to talk to and learn from industry professionals who’ve weathered challenging times in the past. The NewGround team talked with several industry people we respect for their thoughtful approach to business and their strong characters. They were generous with their time and thoughts, both professionally and personally, and we’re pleased to share their observations.

 For me, getting through difficult times has largely been accomplished by embracing change and taking action both professionally and personally. During the last recession, I started a business. It was scary, stressful, exciting, and rewarding watching it take shape in response to a challenging and changing world and market. Before the recession, I had no desire to start a business. I was satisfied with being second in command. But, when the agency where I was working closed its doors early in the recession, I was faced with the decision to find another job or change my thinking and strike out on my own. I chose change and am grateful that I did.

 I’m not saying you should go out and launch a business right now. But taking action, whether you are a business owner or an employee, is critical in moving forward. The action I am taking right now is being there for our clients no matter what day or time. Crisis communications have never been as critical as it is now and it’s one of the most meaningful things I can do. Taking care of my people at the agency, keeping them informed, employed, busy and hopeful, is equally important. 

 On a personal level, I meditate, exercise, stay in contact with those I love (lots of Zoom cocktail hours), listen to Dylan’s “Murder Most Foul” over and over trying to name every reference, cry over the recent passing of John Prine, and commune daily with my backyard lemon tree that is dripping with fruit and my fig tree whose tiny new leaves signal its seasonal reawakening.  

 We also will have a reawakening. When it will fully happen and what form it will take are still to be seen. While this crisis is different than any other in our lifetimes, all crises result in changes, both positive and negative. Hindsight will show if we as an industry seize this as an opportunity to transform and progress. 

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