motivation

10 + Ways To Help Small Businesses Right Now!

 

We are the behind the curtain folks, the weavers of words, the people that help share passion and spread good news! I am writing this as, like many of you and like most of the world, I want to save all the restaurants, bars, and small businesses we can from the hardships being immediately faced. I feel like every morning I wake up and see someone else I care about posting about making a hard decision with their business, and it seems that although we are practicing things like “social distancing”—a phrase I never have used in my life as both an extrovert and a lover of people—we are also in the midst of times where supporting and giving services is needed more than ever. As communications pros, we can be a beacon of hope during these strange and difficult times—we are the messengers to the media, we are the media, we move the needle from fear to fearless by being courageous and creative innovators in a time of great need! So I ask, HOW can we help—now? I’ve listed some of R teams ideas below on ways to support clients, media friends, and most of all each other. Let us know what you’d add, too, we are here to bounce ideas, support and share! Let’s do this!

 

  1. Pick up the phone. Get off email and CALL your people—they need you. They’re reading the news and social media and seeing their friends close down and make difficult decisions—offer creative solutions that can help them weather this storm (an abbreviated but awesome take-out menu, clever delivery options, etc). Read this again, CALL and connect, it makes a world of difference—trust me.

 

  1. Source ideas with other professionals. If you are like me, you have been writing crisis communication plans, scraping all the content you planned for this month and next and next and gearing up for a daily swipe of your ideas—you need some creative support! Call, text, and email fellow communications pros! This is the time to give extra hours, time, and talents to each other to support the world of small businesses. THIS is our time to really support each other and get over any fear that someone will take your client or idea. In this case, we all need to save this sinking ship for EVERYONE and we are the answers. 

 

  1. Be a marketing genius. During the Great Depression, furniture stores offered free incentives called “Depression glass” (like a plate or a teacup) and people went wild shopping for furniture just to get the free glasses, even when they didn’t have much. Today a tiny Depression tea glass is worth $25-$75 (some more), and these were given out for free to our grandmothers. Who came up with that idea? A MARKETING GENIUS, that’s who. Us marketing pros are the people behind the curtain and we get to show off our most genius ideas—often in the most desperate times. Just this week alone I have seen café owners delivering goods, celebrities reading storybooks online, museums offering free tours, and even Disney taking viewers on virtual rides. The internet is blowing up and our ideas are just waiting to take off and find value with our clients. So do what you need to be risky and wise and get someone to sign up for something they never thought they would—it WILL work!
  1. Be calm + confident, be collected, and know this too shall pass. If we hold our visions our clients will too, and we are the ones who help document and execute those visions. So it is up to us to be calm in the storm when they need to freak out because their business is taking turns they never imagined. Be confident. Know you were hired because you are smart, talented and clients can count on you to share their message—that’s you!

 

  1. Be mindful of your words instead of “hard times” change that up for “things are constantly changing” instead of “closing” change that up for “we will open as soon as we can.” Words have power and now more than ever WE are responsible for encouraging clients and media to lessen the drastic language and fear and see things as a work in progress. As the truth is this is actually a golden opportunity to be creative with businesses, and those that know how to pivot and stay calm will be the ones on top after the storm blows over.

 

  1. Be generous with your time. We need to write more blog posts, edit more press releases and help more than we probably ever have before—now is the time to get our boots dirty. It’s hard work, but so worth it! 

 

  1. Shop, shop, shop. Buy all the things—get merch, get gift cards, and practice what you are preachin’ sister!

 

  1. Make your pitches short and sweet and with all information in digestible deets—who, what, where, and website links—and nothing else! We don't want to make more work for our media friends who are getting more emails than ever right now. 

 

  1. Share other people’s creative work—not just your clients. Ask and offer fellow comm friends ways you can lend a helping hand! Giving truly makes the world of difference in stressful situations.

 

  1. BE KIND yourself included, take a bath, do an online yoga class, pour a glass of wine at the end of the day, whatever gets you to zen. You can’t save the world if you aren’t taking care of you and from there sprinkle out the good witch vibes and let people know they have had the power to change and shift and grow within them the whole time. (‘nuff said).

From friends in the comm worlds:

“Entertain and engage! This is the time to show your audience your brand value through digital marketing by giving them what they need the most right now. Something to do. You literally have a captive audience, so don’t waste that opportunity with your average content. Find creative ways to entertain and engage your audience. A great way to do that is through mixed media: video, graphics, motion graphics, email campaigns, etc. Create giveaways, quizzes, and games! The more your audience feels supported by your brand during this time, the more brand loyalty they will reciprocate when things go back to normal.” Sarah Wlliams (digital marketing guru)

 

Have something to add? Please share!

 


R InsideRs: Being A Spin Instructor

By Lauren Paterson

Exactly one year ago this month I became an ex-college swimmer, against my own will. I had used up all four years of NCAA eligibility and although I had a long, successful career, it was more bitter than sweet to finish my last race. I started running more often to keep healthy, and started working the front desk at JoyRide since I had extra time on my hands and my swim “job” was finished.

I quickly became a cycle regular, attending any class I could between classes and work. My mom introduced me to cycling years ago back home and honestly, I did not enjoy it. It was hard, my butt hurt from the seats, everyone was peddling so fast and I felt like the outsider. As I went through high school and then college I started to cycle more often and sort of got the hang of it. But it wasn’t until I met JoyRide that something clicked and my heart opened up. I fell in love (if you can fall in love with a cycling studio…?)

JoyRide is so much more than a cycling studio. We are a community. We are a team. We are a family. I have been teaching at JoyRide for over a month now and I feel as if this wonderful place has filled the hole that swimming left (sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s true). The energy that you’re braced with when you enter the studio is truly full of love, passion, and a whole lot of JOY. Here are some things that I’ve learned about cycling and JoyRide in general in my year-long relationship with the studio.

No Judging
First, this really is a no-judgment zone. When the instructors tell you that this is “your ride” so do what you can but challenge yourself, they’re not lying. JoyRide welcomes people of all ages and abilities. It doesn’t matter if you can cycle the fastest or can’t even stand up out of the saddle yet, we welcome you to the family either way.

People are Good
When you’re having a bad day or you’re just tired and don’t feel like talking to people, your mood will flip when you walk into the studio. Its inevitable. Once you hear the music bumping and your classmates are scurrying around to grab a towel or fill their water bottles and the front desk staff greets you with the sign-in sheet, a smile is bound to appear on that pretty face of yours. And people at JoyRide aren’t just there for the sweat. They will listen, they’ll talk. People are good, and our JoyRide people are damn good. Not to mention, I love our apparel, there are so many retail therapy items that always perk me up too, as a bonus.

Sweating is the Best Therapy
Honestly I can’t think of a more perfect stress reliever than listening to the hottest hits (singing along, too) in the dark and sweating out whatever it is you need to sweat out. Whether it’s stress, anxiety, sugar,or excitement, come sweat it out at JoyRide and you’ll be hooked just like me. But hey, it’s a healthy addiction!

Make Connections, and Friends!
I’ve met some pretty amazing people in the year that I’ve worked at JoyRide. From our fearless leader/owner, Becky, to the new rider who was in my class for their first ride the other day, everyone has a story. People come and go to the studio but there is always opportunity to make a connection or impression on the person strapping on their shoes next to you, the rider across the room, your instructor, or the front desk staff member. These connections, for me, have turned into friendships that I cherish and look forward to seeing every day. I even met Emily, the owner of R Public Relations there, hence this post and my internship. The cyclic nature of the community at JoyRide, puts a spin on spin and cycling, for sure.

Our studio is called JoyRide for a reason. We pride ourselves on the fact that we welcome anyone and everyone who wants to sweat it out on a stationary bike in the dark. If you’re a regular, you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve never cycled at all or with us, come try it out. Your first class is free! And as always, spread that JOY!

 

Schedule A Class Today: HERE

  • all photos provided by Joyride Studios