I don’t know about you but this past weekend, it felt like I could take a full, deep breath for the first time in a long while. In October, I had been doing ok in terms of giving myself a break and not doomscrolling at all hours. Last week, though, I found myself attempting to work on the days I said I would work, staring at the computer screen, and then refreshing my Twitter feed for the umpteenth time that hour. The prolonged wait and experience of multiple Tuesdays in one week was bad for many people’s mental health. 

So when Saturday arrived, I had prepped myself for another day of no news. At 8:30 am, I was awake in bed listening to my dog snore. I heard a whoop outside (very out of place for my quiet neighborhood) – that was my first alert of the good news. 

Where’s the relevance of this in marketing? It relates to calendar planning and crisis management planning. And of course, mental health.

Planning a content or marketing calendar doesn’t just involve noting the dates that are important to your company. It also includes being aware of the dates that are important to your customers and audience. For many, this venn diagram is a circle. But for those with a wider reach beyond their own neighborhood, it’s important to take note. 

A good example of this is lunar new year. This holiday, celebrated across a number of countries by over 2 billion people, is by all statistics, major. It has only been in recent years that US corporations have taken notice and began advertising around it. Even if you as a company or owner do not celebrate it, if you have a significant portion of your audience that does, it needs to be documented. At minimum, the dates (the celebration is not only one day) are noted in your calendar. You might make a social post if it’s warranted. If it’s a holiday for a good chunk of your audience, you would make sure events were not scheduled on those days. 

In terms of crisis management planning, our threshold of what is defined as a “major crisis” has undoubtedly changed in the last few years or even this last year. It used to be that you wouldn’t post promotional items when a major news item hit that affected your audience. Now, though, it takes a lot to stop posting or be aware of when you’re posting. News flies fast and loose and the only things you can do are anticipate possible times when it would be a bad idea to post and keep your other eye on the news. Last week was one of those weeks where marketing messages mostly got lost. 

The relief I felt this weekend freed up a little room in my brain. Last week was a wash of a week but this week, it seems like much more is possible.

This essay was originally written on November 11, 2020 and published first in my newsletter.