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It seems that every generation has its defining event and perhaps, coronavirus will be the one for the most recent generation coming of age.

Regardless of your personal position, fear or reaction to this virus, the impact and response has made it real.  As I write, there are about 196,000 cases worldwide with just over 81,000 of them being confirmed as “recovered” and fewer than 8,000 fatalities (for reference, the global population is 7.8 billion – 0.0001%).  This number is bound to change before I’m even done writing, but more concerning is what’s happening around us.

Store shelves are bare – not just of “necessities,” but of seemingly everything because people fear something of the “worst” will happen and have shifted into survival mode.  They race from market to market grasping anything they can after passing countless local restaurants that have remained open to serve their communities for take-out orders while continuing to pay their wait staff.

Local pharmacies are running out of prescription and over the counter treatments as younger families buy up inventory, leaving those most at risk without the ability to manage their daily needs.  The countless thousands who have been asked to work from home are doing their best to remain productive, while in the background the 24/7 news continues to cycle the same information that terrifies us.

People are not remembering that this will end and when it’s over, because it will be over, what will be left?  Will we be proud of our actions during this crisis and did we do our part to make it better?  Did we work to minimize the damage and impact knowing that this will be over or did we act as though we had nothing to lose?

So, instead of the normal corporate message informing you that we are washing our hands, here is what we are doing:

Since 1922, some of our publications have served their markets EVERY month, without interruption to equip and inform the industry with the tools and information needed to make good business decisions.  This has not changed, through World Wars, through the Great Depression and countless other national and global crisis that sought to tear us apart or bring us to our knees.

We start every day thankful for the privilege of service – serving an industry, serving its professionals and serving their role in the good of our country.  Over almost a century, we have seen our share of challenges but more than anything, had countless reasons to celebrate and be thankful.  Just as now, we are thankful and in the midst of our own chaos, adjustments and fear of the unknown, we are looking for new ways to serve and be helpful.

In spite of countless businesses being disrupted, the supply lines for our products in print, digital and email remain wide open.  As those industry professionals have been instructed to not make personal calls or attend tradeshows, they are refreshing connections, reaching out and even once in a while, reading.  At the request of the industry, we are increasing our communication frequency through our website, email and eNewsletters while our premier print products will continue uninterrupted to keep you apprised of the latest information in our industry. 

We are also working with our loyal clients to help them get their product and brand messages to the broader marketplace in new and exciting ways.  Although you won’t see them at a tradeshow or sales call for a while, there’s no reason to let your business momentum stall… especially when you have a captive audience looking to study something other than the news!  Stay tuned for several new things we are launching to close this temporary marketplace communication gap that has been created.

We are doing this because we believe in this industry and this country.  We know this crisis will end and when it does, we will look back as we always do and say, “That wasn’t as bad as I imagined,” and months from now, we will be back on top again.  In the meantime, we are optimistic for the future and proud to say we are here to serve you!  In times like this, it is not about price sheets or contracts; it is about helping.

We are proud to have the most loyal, engaged audience of any marketplace publication.  Please, if we can help you, your team and your business stay engaged with the marketplace audience, reach out.  We are here to serve and together; we will get through this.

May all of you stay healthy and find a reason every day to remain thankful and hopeful.