Many of us are at home, waiting, and wishing to return to normal life. The coronavirus pandemic has been a nail bitter as each passing second alerts us to something new, asking us to switch directions once again, steering us even further away from the days we once knew. Questions of when will it all be over and how soon can we get back to it, blare through homes across the globe.
However, with every passing week, comes additional questions to ponder. Will the old ever return? When this is all over, what should we expect? What is our new norm?
They are tough questions to face, but they must be asked. Pretending that a wave of a wand or an invention of a vaccine will bring us full circle to pre-COVID-19 life may be wishful thinking. So, if that isn't the mindset to face each waking day with, what is?
There is no doubt that every person, entity, industry, and sector of our universe has been impacted. Therefore, we are all called to begin thinking differently today. We don't want to wait until the clouds part, and the view of the sun is crystal clear. The time to innovate, recreate, and make way for the new is now.
At THuS Marketing, we recognize that the nonprofit and association sector is turned upside down. An industry heavily reliant on bringing people together via physical events is forced to rethink engagement and community. The value in being a convening partner of the members and constituents nonprofits serve feels lost at this time. But never fear, the new is here.
This moment presented to us in this pandemic is a gift. We have to allow something good to arise from the bad. We encourage our partners and association friends to hit pause on the panic button and instead sit back and let the inventing begin! Right now, the audience you serve needs you. They need you to come alongside them and paint a different picture. The ball is in your court. Now shoot! Score!
You still are a rock for them, and they look to you to continue to pull their community together in a central location and in a meaningful way. This coming together may appear different and probably will be something your nonprofit has never done before. Don't allow this truth to keep you from stepping into the unknown. One thing that is for certain in this uncertainty, we are all living in the unknown.
Here's how to gain some level of clarity before diving into blue oceans. Your audience has all the answers. As you spend this time seeking understanding and peering into your crystal ball, tap into your community. Your members' requirements have changed overnight. As a matter of fact, their needs are probably changing nightly! Do not be coy, get in there, and find out where your members are.
Take note, the more you spend time in this transition period to attain a solid understanding of your audience's world, the better position you will be in to create and provide them the best “new” possible. You need a handle on what your community is feeling, what their concerns are, how they envision the future, and how they see you in it. Without your audience's insight, you will design and innovate for your organization vs. for them.
We don't know what tomorrow holds. All we are sure of is that a new day has arrived. Don't be afraid of the blindfold — walk forward. A blue ocean awaits your arrival. Be vested in your community, invest in your organization, and jump in — the water temp is fine!
Don't let the new define you. You go and define the new!