How to Approach COVID-19 Anniversary Messaging

hands holding a candle

On the first anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Joe Biden took to his podium to deliver a message to the American people: empathy and action will set the country on a path to recovery. 

For Biden, the delivery, content and tone of his first prime-time address as president set an important precedent for public figures and organizations seeking words to make sense of the past year.  One in three Americans knows someone who died from coronavirus, according to a recent Axios-Ipsos poll. The sense of loss—emotionally, economically, physically—has left many empty. 

The president’s speech included a nod to the American novelist Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms,” about “being strong in all the broken places.” Biden called for unity during a time of immense suffering, showing that we are not all so different. 
Assessing Need
It’s a delicate balance to appropriately honor an anniversary, particularly one that unleashed so much pain and tragedy. March 11, 2020, will forever be remembered as the day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. It also was the day many began adhering to stay-at-home orders. 

What, if anything, can organizations add to this conversation? Is it appropriate for brands to deliver a  message to audiences? Will they follow the empathetic lead of the president or misuse the moment with empty statements?

CRISIS INSIDER

Access to all Crisis Insider articles, monthly reports and valuable blueprints for crisis management.

$29

Per Month Lowest Price

PLATINUM

Best Value!

Unlimited access to all Premium and Crisis Insider articles and monthly reports.

First Year Offer

$68

Per Month

PREMIUM

Unlimited access to all Premium digital intelligence, 10-year web archive and monthly reports.

Save $140 With Annual Subscription

$78

Per Month