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What to Write During a Global Pandemic or other Such Crisis

What to Write During a Global Pandemic or other Such Crisis

By on Apr 28, 2020 in Social Media Writing, What to Write About, Writing | 0 comments

There is a big and hairy scary question facing anyone who is writing a business blog during this pandemic. Do you write about it or not? 

If you choose to not write about it will your readers think you are ignoring the obvious? Are you risking being irrelevant at the moment? If you do write about it, will you be seen as exploiting the situation and perhaps even diminishing its significance? And what should you say about it anyway, especially if your expertise isn’t directly applicable?

Would it be better to just not write at all?

The very act of asking these questions is an important step forward. It demonstrates your empathy and concern for those you serve as well as for the future of your business. And that’s great.

As a writer and communicator, my bias is toward saying something, even if it’s not exactly the right thing. As with a gift, it’s the thought that counts. That being said, putting some thought into what you write will result in a piece that is genuinely appreciated. 

Your next blog, email, or social media post does not need to be about the pandemic or social distancing but it may make sense to at least reference and acknowledge it. That helps to put things in context and to show that you are aware of and concerned about what’s going on. Things are different right now and they may never go back to the norm as we knew it. Your readers know that, and they are wondering about these things too: not just impacts on health, but also impacts on their business, on everyday life, and they may even be wondering about their impacts on you and your business.

To be Funny or Not

If you’re going to write about it,  then how? 

The riskiest approach maybe humor. Laughter certainly helps people cope with the massive upheaval in our lives. But people are sick and dying, losing their jobs, and struggling in their own businesses. How can you make light of that? 

Respectfully and with compassion. As a writer, you can acknowledge that life is complex and situations are complex and that you can be sad and happy all at the same time. It’s like telling a joke at a funeral. It’s not intended to diminish the seriousness of the situation, but rather to honor the joy brought by the person who passed. These are strange times and some of it is funny.

If not humorous, should you be formal, informal, flowery? Any of those could work as long as you are authentic. Often in these types of situations, people lean toward being formal. But that can mean being stiff, which generally isn’t attractive to a reader. The important thing is to think about the tone you want to take and be deliberate about it. Be true to yourself and consider what will work best for the people you want to reach. 

Figuring Out What to Say

Aside from tone, what will you write about? Start, as always, with your audience and your field. What questions are foremost in the minds of the people you want to reach? What are their concerns? What are their challenges?

In some cases, it will be obvious. If your field is home organizing, right now people are stuck at home and looking around, thinking about what to do with all their stuff. Even if your field is not directly related, there will likely be some impact that people should be taking into consideration that you can illuminate.

Some questions to consider:

  • How is your field being impacted right now?
  • What will happen in the future?
  • What should be done now to prepare?
  • How can people cope now?

Set Yourself up with a Strategy

Here’s another thing to consider – how many blogs/social media posts/emails should dwell on the Coronavirus/Covid-19? One? Two? Each one you write from now until when we’re all released? There’s not a right or wrong answer, but it can help to think about that as you plan so that you have a cohesive approach.

Getting Started

Here is a trick to get started: Write the headline first. Actually, write ten headlines of articles that you want to read or that you think your audience might like to read. Pick the best one and start writing. If the article veers off once you’ve started, you can change the headline. It’s just a guide to get going.

And, as always, write with abandon. Don’t edit. Don’t stop. Just write. Once the words are on the screen, you can go back and shape it the way you want. 

If you do write, please share. I am eager to read your perspective on what we’re all going through.

 

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