"There are years that ask questions and years that answer." -Zora Neale Hurston
Hello friends and colleagues. Thank you for being here and thank you for reading.
Two and a half months of isolation, thus far. Lots of chatter about how Zoom is the new office space. Silliness. We the people are desperate for human interaction and there must be a common ground where we can meet. What’s new and different is that we do not need to meet on this common working ground five days a week.
Balance is in. Common sense is in. Saving gas, money, and time is in. Productivity is the new black. Meanwhile, millions of people are suffering greatly. The United States is a chaotic and scary place to be right now. People with masks and the unmasked share space and tensions run high. Divisions are deep and growing deeper. People are angry, sad, and short-tempered. At the same time, people are gracious, generous, and kind.
Did you know that forty-one million Americans have sought employment assistance since mid-March? A thought. If you’re upset that people don’t have money, food, or work, and you are able to provide money, food, or work, in some grand or small way, do it. I say this because we are all being tested, individually, and collectively. The test isn’t a COVID-19 test, it’s a citizenship test.
If you listen to the screens, the screens say we are failing these tests miserably. What’s wrong with this analysis is how many millions of kind acts are being performed every day that are never reported. Everything from grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor to continuing to pay your dog walker and other service providers, even when they may not be needed at this time.
Stand Out, Not Apart
If you’re thinking that you subscribed to this newsletter for business tips, do not worry, here they come…
To be successful in business, you will need to get lots of people to like you. This group must be sizeable and must like you well enough to buy from you and to tell other people about you, who will also buy from you.
You have zero chance of ever achieving this if you take a blind eye to the cultural shifts happening on your watch. If your brand has no pulse and no soul, people will notice and turn away.
Brands reflect the culture and the company’s DNA like the mirrors they are. When you are a business owner, chief marketing officer, or ad maker of any sort, you must know this reflective power and use it wisely. Or get burned by the refracted light.
The Sign of Our Times
CA and Me
I am thrilled to report that Communication Arts continues to shine a light on my writing and my work. This week, CA featured my Howard Luck Gossage article on its homepage and on its Twitter account.
Before I start tripping over my own vanities, I hope you know how grateful I am for this positive attention. It’s so helpful to be affirmed, and it reminds me of how I can help to affirm others.
My friend Laura Click is speaking out against racial injustice.
My friend Terry Gardner is making and selling fine art oil paintings.
My cousin Joshua Cain Daugherty is recording live music and selling it on his revamped website.
My friend Todd Christy is roasting and selling premium coffee beans on Martha’s Vineyard.
Stay in Touch
Please feel free to ask me any writing or marketing-related questions you may have.
For more of my recent writing, please see “Your Perception Is Not My Reality,” and “Information Wants to be Expensive Because It's So Valuable.”