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​Don’t Just Dream of Life After Pandemic, Plan for It.

The internet is overflowing with jokes about how life in quarantine has altered our relationship with time. Quips like “Can’t believe I’ve lived through the 90s, 00s, 10s, and March” and “So, days of the week … we still doing those?” pop up every time I go online. Problem is, when I close the tab and get to work, time is still the issue at hand.

“Client A is transitioning to contactless delivery and we need 15-second scripts by EOD.”

“Can we get five name options for Client B’s new charity in the next two hours?”

“Client C’s commercials don’t work anymore. We need a new campaign ASAP.”

Clients are justifiably addressing their current issues with day-by-day urgency, and they should continue doing so, but it’s essential we plan a return to normalcy while we’re at it. Like sailing through a storm, the first priority is to stay afloat, but if you stray too far off course in the process, you’ll be lost when it’s over.

I don’t mean to downplay the issues at hand. I just want to prepare for the ones that lie ahead. When this lockdown is lifted, whether it’s done so quickly or over time, deadlines will only tighten. The race to grab market share from the void in business that’s been created lately will be as intense if not more than the projects we’re handling today, so we need to come off the blocks fast if we expect to compete. Gather your teams today and determine what a successful return to business looks like and what you want to say to customers coming out of quarantine. Once you’re all on the same page, get to work. You’ll thank yourself when the good news comes.

Our clients don’t expect us to know how or when this pandemic will end, but they do expect us to be ready when it does. Make a plan for all of them, and make sure it covers multiple scenarios. I’m writing “back in business” spots right now, and surprisingly it doesn’t feel like a premature celebration. It feels nice. Like brighter days aren’t just something to dream about, but to participate in.

Once the work is done, we wait. I think we can all handle that part by now.

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