A lot of people are asking me what is appropriate to post on social media and to send out via email when it comes to marketing in light of what’s happening in the Ukraine.

Here are some thoughts that may help you navigate how to handle it as well as another world crisis (of which we know a lot since Covid).

I have put several social media posts and email campaigns on hold this week for myself and for my clients.

It just doesn’t seem appropriate or important to post them right now. My posts are safe and sound unlike the people in the Ukraine.

Pressing pause is okay. Being tone deaf is not.

It’s important to not be tone deaf or insensitive in your marketing while the conflict in the Ukraine continues, especially if your organization has offices there, in Russia or in Eastern Europe.

We need to pivot and adapt, and put people first like we did during Covid. Some of the news we have to share about ourselves and our companies can wait.

Being more sensitive, helpful and empathetic and that’s guidance I would carry into the next few weeks as well as:

  1. Do business as if the world is watching. Assume millions of people around the world will view your content no matter the actual size of your company. Anything can go viral. Don’t be the bad example.
  2. Lead with empathy. Remember that everyone has their own struggles, challenges and joys. They have families, coworkers and employees who may be affected. See them first as people, then as customers/clients. Empathize first, then be helpful.
  3. Follow the 80/20 rule of marketing. 80 percent of your content should be helpful, informative and educational. 20 percent should be inform your audience about your brand, what you stand for, why you exist, how you can help them and what you do. Pivot your messaging and pause some of the posts to align with the news.
  4. Use your social channels for good. Share helpful resources and inspiring stories. Tell your followers you are dedicated to what’s going on in the world.
  5. Don’t set and forget your marketing. The problem with tools that let you schedule blog posts, social media posts and email marketing in advance is when tragedy strikes, the content that was created during a different time is at risk of being inappropriate. Make sure posts aren’t going out that are unnecessary or tone deaf in light of what’s happening.

There’s no absolute rule with any of this – do what feels right to you and your organization but if you can hold off posting something and the post seems self-congratulatory or isn’t super timely, hold off on it. When in doubt ask someone. I am happy to help.

If your company hasn’t yet made a donation to help Ukraine, you should.

You can create a social media post about it, not because you want to brag that you did it, but because it’s important to let your followers know that giving back is important to you.

In light of that, stay tuned for some news about ways you can directly give back to help the Ukraine.

What other tips would you add? What guidance are you providing to your companies?

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