What the coronavirus crisis is teaching us

These days, crisis plans of all kinds, citizen response to contingencies, the capacity of the medical system or solidarity and empathy between countries, regions, cities and even neighborhoods are being tested. But it is also a time for fakenews, creativity, good humour, flexibility and even time to be with the family. This coronavirus thing is putting us in front of situations that we had only seen in movies and for which no one had prepared us. So taking the maxim (China by the way) that every crisis is an opportunity, this coronavirus is also teaching us some things.

How good communication is almost half of crisis management

Okay, it is understood that it is a fine line between not wanting to cause unnecessary alarm and protecting the citizenry. It can also be understood that in the early stages of the spread of the virus there were not many certainties, but the correct management of communication is fundamental to face a crisis of these dimensions: that people understand and empathize with the situation, presuppose that the citizenry is mature and that they are prepared to assume the responsibilities that an exceptional situation requires. 

We were told to be careful, that a plan of containment… but until these last days, (with the famous little blackboard already in the more or less pronounced curve) they have not explained to us, nor have they made us citizens co-responsible for the situation and our power to reverse, or at least minimize, the consequences of the contagion.

We have been debating for weeks whether it was more or less serious, more or less deadly, whether it happened in such and such a place. It has been a wasted time to take, if not action, at least to raise awareness. A few weeks in which someone could have exposed the situation clearly and transparently and, above all, made us share in what is known, not to alarm, but to prepare:

– “Gentlemen, ladies, if the situation reaches this point, we have to be very careful about staying in our homes for this, for that, and for what is beyond… maybe it is, or maybe it is not, we are working to prevent this situation from arising, but you must know that, when the time comes, we need your collaboration and you must know your role in all this“.

Communication, ergo “sharing information”, as the scientific community has demonstrated, is the best way to fight any threat. In this case a small but very bloody one, and too fast. This is not the time to assess the scope, if the danger is greater or lesser, but of course, it is an opportunity to learn and even if it is only as a planetary simulation that something like this can happen, in communication, at least until the last hours we have suspended. I hope that this is not the global test and that we will have a playoff.

Of the digitization of companies to manage work remotely

In some companies we have been investing for years in digitalization of processes, in teleworking. It seemed like a friction of some snobs that we like to play with technology, or of some parents that needed to reconcile. Not even the government has known / wanted / been able to legislate to encourage investment in digitalization and in labor policies to promote telework.

Many companies today are taking their hands off the head, others, like us, have simply taken the bag, and we have gone home to work, without any trauma or problem. We have already done this on other occasions in beta mode, it is true that for a day or two and now it is indefinite… but today we can proudly say (and I am touching wood that it is only quarantine and not the disease) that in Art Marketing a virus will not stop us.

What it means for the social responsibility of the company

The coronavirus will also leave us with another interesting lesson: the amount of travels and meetings that are dispensable. That, if we work in a network and collaboratively, we don’t have to spend so much time on trips that reduce our quality of life, and, above all, that it leaves us with a significant carbon footprint that we could avoid and continue to be efficient.

Not less important are the other fronts: the human factor, flexibility, training, adaptability, teamwork and some other so-called soft skills that determine whether a person has an attitude, as well as aptitude.

Now is the time to show that you are responsible and not just paying lip service, not just to organizations, but also to individuals!

And what about the mass media and social networks?

There will be doctoral theses on how the media has treated the news of the coronavirus. We can’t blame anyone, this is unprecedented, but instead of talking so much, why don’t we contrast the news, if that’s first rate journalism!

And by the way, as we say that the media is living an identity crisis, I think it is a good moment to reflect and ask ourselves why we do not trust the traditional media, why we trust more than a whatsapp that comes redirected I do not know how many times, than a media that is informing. We must have our credibility checked, and without credibility, what is the point of them as informers?

We suggest, with all our ingenuity and consequently with the motto that defines us, that good news does not have to be good, but well given. That, in short, the media should not become a loudspeaker of falsehoods, that they should not be yellowish, but that they should give themselves the opportunity to scratch a little more and ask questions from other sources. Sometimes the truth is not what they want to tell us… or is it?


Beatriz de Andrés, CEO Art Marketing

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