This is an uncertain and frightening time for everyone. Places have gone on 'lockdown', Irish businesses have had to close their doors and people have been asked to stay at home. It is a time where many people are afraid and worried about their health, that of others and also that of their business. But it is also a time where there has been great strength and ingenuity in Irish business and the country as a whole. People are trying new things and getting creative in how they live their lives in a new kind of 'normal'. We've seen some great examples of this, near and far over the past few weeks and wanted to share some of the good news stories here.
Restaurants and Bars
Restaurants and bars were hugely impacted by the current situation. Many businesses that never considered home delivery or doing take out are now offering this to the public. This along with online menus on their websites has given people a break from cooking meals to bring some 'normalcy' to people's lives and petrol stations are offering free teas/coffees to health care workers. For something a bit fancy and for the first time ever in Ireland you could also order a €19 Michelin-star takeaway in Dublin.
The owners of Wing It restaurants and Ohana bar established a new online grocery shopping and delivery portal, creating ten jobs for laid off workers from the hospitality and events industry with the aim of creating at least 20 more posts in the coming weeks.
Protecting vulnerable people at a time like this has been something that has been embraced by everyone. Supermarkets and shops have really stepped up to the mark with initiatives like priority shopping times for vulnerable shoppers and complementary home delivery. Many used social media channels to spread the message to their employees and shoppers.
Traditional industries have also started looking at online channles to help keep business going. Irish car dealership, Windsor, has seen prospective buyers make use of its digital platform while its car showrooms are temporarily closed.
Connections all around, online
Working from home had been something that many companies felt was not achievable for their workforce but these new circumstances have highlighted that is may be more achievable than we first thought. Phones are now being answered from home offices and video conferencing companies like Zoom have never seen so much traffic. This may be something positive that comes from a very difficult situation - the possibilty for more flexibility, for more people in the workplace.
Marketing in a crisis
This crisis has also highlighted something in marketing that is sometimes forgotten. Marketing should never just be about 'selling'. It should be about connecting with your audience, about sharing information.
The silver lining of something like this is that it can bring out the best in humanity. It makes us think about the world as a whole, we all look out for each other. And the internet is allowing us, in a time of great isolation be more connected to one another both on a work and personal level.