During These Surreal Times, To Write or Not To Write, That Is My Question

By my very rudimentary count I have written well over 5,000 articles or posts or whatever you want to call them.  The vast majority of these have been centered around the worlds of marketing, advertising and branding and all the different subplots, if you will, inherent in each.

And while there is no shortage of “things” to write about when it comes to my “beat” — I have to tell you I am having a very hard time mustering the energy, let alone the desire to put pen to paper and do what I do.

And the reason why I am reluctant to “do what I do” is because of the times we are living in. It just seems very strange, if not outright wrong or in poor taste to write about something so trivial such as customer experience or the latest campaign from Brand X or the results of a recent survey and on and on.

I use the word “trivial” when compared to what we are all facing. Obviously these things that I referenced are all very important to those who live and work in these worlds but right now, I don’t know… they just seem trivial right now.

I do not have a problem with those who continue to write about these topics in the context of how they’ve always written about them.

I do, however, have a huge problem with those who are clearly taking advantage of the current situation penning pieces such as “What Marketers Can Learn From COVID-19’s Effect On the World.” NOTE: I made that title up on the spot and I will NOT Google it to see if there is such a piece out of fear of discovering there is in fact such a piece.

Moreover, I have a problem with so many PR firms pitching their clients to me under the auspices of the coronavirus and the “expert” they rep and all the great insights he/she can provide to businesses and brands during these trying times.

Are you kidding me?

Look, I know you (PR reps) have a job to do but c’mon man… dial it down, huh.

Here’s subject lines from just two of the many PR pitch emails I’ve received over the past week:

  • COVID-19: Top questions XXX is helping brands and media leaders answer
  • Coronavirus Survey: 65% of Advertising Employees Fear Company Layoffs Due to Covid-19

I love the last one for they managed to get both coronavirus AND Covid-19 in the same subject line. Well done!

I digress, sorry… it just goes against everything I believe in; seeing people try to capitalize on human suffering. And yes, perhaps, just perhaps I am overreacting. You tell me.

And by the way I am aware of my own hypocrisy insomuch as I continue to Tweet and share stories written by others on these very topics. For some reason, in my mind, socially sharing these is ok compared to actually writing them.

I need your help. Seriously.

I love to write. I love to share my opinion and knowledge and advice on all things marketing, advertising and branding.

But I honestly do not know if I should be doing this during these so surreal times.

Thanks for listening…

Steve O

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