The Don’t-Call-It-A-Pivot Pivot


Toilet roll with don't panic written on it

Pivot! Adapt! Thrive! Ugh.

On a scale of ‘half a pint of stockpiled Ben and Jerry’s’ to ‘second bottle of Malbec’, how are you coping with #LockdownLife?

How many posts have you read about ‘pivoting in a pandemic’? Who knew there were so many work-from-home experts? Is anyone feeling remotely ‘agile’ right now? Answers on a wipe-clean postcard, please.

I’m not going to think-piece at you about how to ‘survive and thrive’, or add to the 850 hot takes in your inbox about being adaptable in the face of uncertainty.

We’re all doing what we can. Tbh, if you’re still managing to check your email, you’re winning in my book.

When I haven’t been glued to my Twitter feed, I’ve been talking to clients about how to rework their planned content to fit this new normal.

I know how much time and effort goes into creating regular, high-quality content. You are 100% not alone if the thought of scrapping it all and starting a new strategy from scratch makes you want to close your Google doc, pour a second glass of wine and take solace in another episode of Tiger King.

I get that it’s hard to know what to say. I’ve started and stopped numerous posts this week.

Things are changing so rapidly, the messages feel dated as soon as they hit the page.

And when you’re already stretched to the max trying to reorganise your in-person events, courses and services, rewriting blog posts and email newsletters around a whole new set of themes might just have to wait.

But keeping in touch with our clients and customers is more important than ever.

So, what content should you be creating when you have no clue what’s around the corner?

Here are a few questions to help you crack your ‘business as unusual’ content plan:

  • Do you need to say anything?
    If things are carrying on as normal, stick to your usual programme. No one expects you to whip out a secret PhD in virology and start educating them on infection control (unless you work for the NHS or CDC). For the love of inboxes across the land, consider what your audience really needs from you right now, and refrain from sending another ‘we’re here for you’ email.If your usual content is doing its job, your audience already knows you care about them.
  • What does your audience need to know right now?
    At this point, the time for crisis comms has passed. Let’s assume you’ve told your clients about events that have been rescheduled and in-person services that are now going to be delivered online. You’ve told your customers what to expect from any disruption to your supply chain and how to get refunds. Can you imagine any more questions they might have right now? Has anything changed? Communicate clearly and proactively to manage expectations.
  • Has your audience changed?
    Maybe you’re now focusing on different products or attracting a slightly different audience than normal. Does your messaging still fit? Make sure your blog content, your website and even your LinkedIn profile make sense for the people who are using your services now.Don’t forget to look at any automated ads or email sequences to make sure the copy is relevant, sensitive and consistent for new and existing readers.
  • What can you keep, cut and repurpose from your existing content plan?
    Time for the don’t-call-it-a-pivot pivot. Go through each planned post and decide if it’s still relevant. If not, can it be tweaked to fit what’s happening in your readers’ lives now? Or does it simply need to be shelved for later? Consider whether you need to create brand new content to highlight the services that solve the problems your audience has right now. Your content plan should simply follow your business strategy – listen to your audience, find out what they need, and give it to them in a format they can use. So, same as always, right?

We may not know the exact bumps in the road ahead, but we can plot out a rough route.

If you’d like some practical help to figure out how to rework your content plan over the next few months, drop me a note and we’ll set up a call.

(📷: Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash)


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