In for the Long Haul: So Now What?

July 18, 2020

It has been a couple of weeks since my last briefing and for good reason: I took some time off. For the first time in what seems like personal recorded history, I went away and stayed away from work. I sat in my favorite chair on the North Shore of Lake Superior and just watched the rippled waves for hours. I swatted mosquitos. I grilled meat and fake meat for my family and my daughter’s boyfriend’s family. I hiked to waterfalls. I ate the World’s Best Donuts. I didn’t work.

It was time to recharge the battery because it appears now we’re in this pandemic for the long haul. As I wrote back on March 24th, “Freedom is a stubborn thing. As Americans, we are resilient people with a fierce sense of individualism. The pandemic is challenging us to our core as we are being asked to give up many of those freedoms for the value of the whole. This doesn’t come easy. And, unfortunately, there is a cost to that: we will most likely endure a longer recovery with potentially a higher spike and longer ‘smoothing of the curve’ than countries that don’t have similar personal and cultural values. Freedom has a price, as we’re learning the hard way.”

Of course, I wish I had been wrong about that. Make no mistake. This predicament we’re in is 100% by choice, fueled by the narcissism and encouragement out of the White House. If there was ever a moment that so captures the raw reality of poor leadership and its effect on our shared community, this is it. And it’s just so stupid. So preventable.

So here we are. And now what are we going to do about it?

Resonate Wave 5 Consumer Study (DOWNLOAD)

Just like the science of COVID-19, we need to pay attention to the science of research. During this entire shutdown, we have relied on the excellent data coming out of our partners at Resonate. They just released their Wave 5 study, and in it, it’s clear that the consumer has sober attitudes towards life moving forward. 74% of those surveyed believe “life returning to normal” is at least 7 months away with 72% believing the economy won’t improve until 2021 or later.

I encourage you to download the entire report because it delves into consumer behaviors towards retail, media habits, gathering, and other important topics. How your brand fits into their lives right now must be a key consideration towards where to target and how to message your value.

Ciceron’s Own Report on the State of Healthcare (DOWNLOAD)

Over the past five months, we have poured over the data and third-party research to synthesize the best of the best into a series of reports on the health of a variety of industries near and dear to our hearts. This week, we released our report on the state of the healthcare industry. As you can imagine, telehealth has been on a tear. Healthcare professionals have been in an excruciating position — having to be the front lines of the pandemic with the health of their own weighing them down while trying to provide normal, everyday healthcare services to the public. This study can illuminate some opportunities for engagement and a potential roadmap to success.

The State of Ciceron, You Ask?

Many of you have asked how we’re doing, and I appreciate that so much. We’re doing ok. We miss each other terribly. But the work and confidence our clients have placed in us during all of this has been both professionally and personally rewarding. To be quite honest, we have been steadily busy, with a fairly substantial uptick in July and August, two months which are usually a little lighter. We have been able to maintain all our staff, have not had any salary reductions, and we have a nearly in tact line of credit. The PPP loan was extremely helpful.

Finally, I told staff on our Wednesday staff meeting to hunker down because I don’t think we’re opening for the remainder of the year. Perhaps I’m just the resident old person at the agency, but I know how fast time goes. While being home away from one another is inconvenient (yet delightfully convenient in many ways), this too shall pass, and we’ll look back on all of this as one hell of a journey.

Stay cool this weekend. Be cool always.