The start of 2021 was both expected and a surprise at the same time. I had been watching the situation since December and talking about the likelihood of a national lockdown. But when the announcement was made last night it caught me by surprise as it led to a my own little meltdown.
After establishing a business during the first lockdown and building it up throughout the year, it felt like things were slipping away. November and December had been my best months and I could see projects in the diary for January and February before lockdown happened.
Now logically I have done it once and can do it again, my work is online and from home and other than looking after my horse I have had no need to go out for many months. So the situation isn’t catastrophic. However, this didn’t stop my emotions surging and having an overwhelming feeling of a bleak future ahead. What I never expected was the amount of support and offers of having a chat to help me find a way forward that came to me. The communication world really came through for me last night and this morning.
I know how I deal with crises. The inevitable meltdown is followed by a regrouping and then the fight back. I just need to ensure the bounce back happens pretty quickly. It is important that we know how we deal with challenges so that we can be kind to ourselves as we process what has happened. It helps to spot the warning signs and to just accept some of the stages we need to go through.
It isn’t just about being kind to ourselves though. Being kind to each other is going to be really vital in the coming weeks. Some communicators will be busy, some will be worried about work, some will be facing redundancy, some may be faced with moving out of PR and comms. It doesn’t matter who you are this situation will impact on you in some way. So let’s dispense with unnecessary inter-comms disputes. Be honest about what we are doing, say if we are struggling, and above all let’s have no bull. Crisis communication demands honesty and for us as communicators we need to be honest about how things are. Think about what your comments might mean to someone struggling, worrying or on the edge.
I hope the industry can do what it has done before and unite so that we can all help each other through the weeks ahead. And above all lets show a bit of kindness.