Keeping perspective in uncertain times | tips for PR professionals

03/12/2020 - Lori Bertelli

While we all try and wrap our heads around the big news and even bigger changes that have come with the global pandemic of COVID-19, it’s easy to lean toward hysteria.

During the past 24 hours, we have learned that the NBA suspended its season, the NCAA basketball tournaments are canceled, Trump suspended all travel from Europe into the US, the stock market continues to fall, and Dr. Anthony Fauci briefed Congress on our country’s (and others’) failure to get ahead of the coronavirus. News updates are being made constantly today.

It’s a lot to absorb.

Right now, it’s a good idea to take a deep breath. Then, take a moment (or several) to look for stability and begin to make order out of all the disorder. As PR leaders, people look to us to set the tone—and it’s up to us to provide a measure of stability, guidance, and comfort for those in our personal and professional lives. Here are a few ideas to help us cope during trying times:

  • Many of us are working remotely. If you are, too, make sure to set regular break times to get up from your desk to avoid overworking, loneliness or burnout.
  • Your clients need you. Help them proactively manage employee communications to keep everyone updated on changing company policies, and therefore safe.
  • Many commercial events are up in the air. Likewise, help your clients adjust timelines and set action plans for launches that may need to be postponed.
  • Be aware that many in our communities may be vulnerable to coronavirus. Work to proactively change your routine to keep yourself and your community safe: wash your hands regularly, avoid large gatherings, self-isolate when possible, and stay up-to-date on the most recent protective measures.
  • Above all: Stay informed. Trusted media sources and health professionals should be your constant companions during these tumultuous times.

Finally, remember that this is a great opportunity to practice kindness and understanding. We all handle stress differently, and showing human kindness with colleagues, neighbors, and even (or especially) strangers will go a long way in helping us gracefully navigate these tumultuous times.