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By Mark Havenner

There is a lot that is terrible about the COVID-19 crisis. Beyond the very tragic loss of lives, the soaring historical unemployment, as well as the isolation caused by seclusion, one of the most shattering parts of this crisis is the uncertainty. There is so little about this that we can control, not only on a personal level, but also on a professional one.

For those that are essential workers on the front lines of the crisis, there is no question about how to move forward from day to day — one step in front of the other, one day at a time. I certainly can’t speak to that. By comparison, non-essential professionals in the marketing and communications world probably feel useless as well as out of place, or maybe out of control of things and, well, non-essential.

But business still needs to get done. Companies still need to behave in the marketplace, to remain necessary to their customers and communities. Clients, employees, vendors, partners, and stakeholders are all counting on the fact that brands remain an essential part of the social calculus, to be needed and relevant. At its very core, an economy survives through transactions, that is, through people conducting commerce. People needing people.

So, there is a trick to get one’s mind around this. We can’t control almost any aspect of what is happening in our world right now, but there is one thing we can control. We can control what we do. That brings me to ‘your three things’.

What are the three things you can do for your clients that they need? What are the three things your clients can do for their customers that they need? What are the three things you can do for your colleagues that they need? If you identify three things that can be effective in this time of turmoil, that breaks it up into manageable tasks. Then just do them. That’s how to move forward. We seek out ways to help and then help some more. We help in measurable, quantifiable ways.

Don’t forget that you are part of this too. What are the three things you can do that you need? What are the three things you can do that your family needs? What are the three things you can do that your neighborhood needs? The communities of which you are a member? Your social networks? Your professional networks?

We may not be able to stop this crisis or fix the world, but we can work on fixing our world, three things at a time.