DEAR FRIENDS,

How are you doing in quarantine, roughly 50 days in? One thing is certain: none of us could have predicted this situation around the time we were making our New Year’s resolutions. It’s a time to celebrate wins both big and small right now, like the resilience you’re showing in continuing to move forward (or even just putting on a different pair of pants – or any pants at all ). 

We continue to be grateful for the trust our clients put in us to help them navigate the turbulent waters of communicating during the pandemic. We know each of you is facing your own unique set of challenges, but I hope this week’s Uncut provides some insight into messaging, some laughs about preschoolers with lipstick, or just some levity with cats chasing nothing. Right now, I’m celebrating our office manager, who continues to check in on our beautiful offices and has dutifully escorted a gaggle of mice who thought they could become marketers right out the door. I hope you’re staying healthy (and mouse-free).
Kind regards,

Mimi Rasor, President

COMING TOGETHER: INSIGHTS FROM CLIENTS AND COLLEAGUES
We’re asking our clients some thought-provoking questions to get their insights into how they’re navigating right now. This week, we talk to Phil Schultz and Zach Wieber, co-owner of Icon Solar , the region’s most trusted solar expert since 2009.

What do you do to relax amidst all the uncertainty?
Our business is successful for our customers if the sun comes up every day. We really do not have a concern that the sun will not come up, so we are relaxed.
What are 3 words that you would describe your 3-6 month outlook?
Determined, hopeful and adaptable
What's something positive you're seeing, in the midst of a tough situation?
Heroes are all around us. There are many things that we have taken for granted that we now realize are the results of efforts of many great Americans.
What are you focusing on right now?
Enhancing and encouraging communication. Uncertainty is defeated by information.
What's the most important thing you want people to know about your company right now?
People go solar because they want to (a) do their part to protect the environment, (b) lower their electric bills, (c) save for the future, or (d) become more independent and reduce their reliance on their utility company. The tax credit is going away, regardless of how long the pandemic persists. If those reasons for going solar strike home, stop procrastinating and take a step for your future with solar.
DOING WELL BY DOING GOOD

More COVID-19 frontline workers are receiving necessary supplies thanks to a partnership between local humanitarian and disaster relief organization Matthew 25: Ministries, and our very own client, Cintas, a leading business supplier. Their four-part strategy includes providing first aid and safety supplies, making face shields, and donating fabric to a factory in Haiti to produce even more protective gear.

Cincinnati-based shoe store, Corporate, is stepping up to provide homeless students with access to online learning in a unique way! For every $10 donation to the cause, fundraiser participants are entered into a raffle to win a pair of limited-edition, high-end Nike Air Fear of God 1 sneakers.

Missing the thrills that only amusement and water parks can provide? Both Kings Island and Coney Island are extending their season passes through 2021.
DEAR DIRK
Do you have a PR, marketing or communications-related question for our experts during this difficult time? We’ll answer them right here, anonymously. Dirk has been our steady office dog for ten years and is a great listener, but don’t worry, the advice is all human.
What do your target audiences need to hear right now?

Q : I’m struggling to figure out what kinds of messaging my key audiences need to hear right now. Should I be focused on what my business is doing to keep things clean? Or how we’re working to return to normal? Or how we’re all in this together?

A : Your confusion is understandable. It certainly is murky, and there’s a new layer of complexity with coronavirus. Figuring out what to focus on is tricky, because you want your target audiences to know you’re in touch with their concerns, but you also still have key messages to convey about your products or services. Here are some tips to help you revise your messaging so that it resonates right now.

  • Know your audience. Give some real thought to your audiences: who are they? Employees? Customers? Shareholders? Vendors? Leave no one out.

  • Figure out what your audiences care about. What motivates them to use your products or services? It can be tempting to jump on board with what so many other companies are saying right now, but at the end of the day, you’re solving a customer’s problem or fulfilling a need. Stay in tune with that and incorporate any needed messaging based on cleanliness or safe operations.

  • Do a little research. You may not have time or resources for comprehensive quantitative research into what your key audiences are experiencing right now – if you do, go for it – but, if not, that’s O.K. too. Reach out by email or phone to a few people you have relationships with to ask them personally about how your business can best serve them right now, and what concerns they have.

  • Write some new, concise messaging. Avoid the temptation to say everything, all the time. It can be just too much to convey in a single communication tactic. Instead, write some messages that succinctly get home the major points you need to make, whether it’s about business operations or company recruiting.

It’s more important than ever to reassure your stakeholders that you’re listening and ready to get back to business with their best interests in mind.  

Email your questions to info@rasor.com , and we’ll publish an answer.
ACTUAL, REAL, TOTALLY TRUE WORK-FROM-HOME STORIES FROM OUR OWN TEAM
Since I’m wearing makeup less at home, my preschool daughter has taken to trying on all my lipsticks. (If you’re wondering, this is NARS Roseland. On the wall.)
TODAY’S COMMUNICATION HACK
Do you speak fluent sarcasm? While we’re working from home, it might be difficult to convey your quips and nuance through emails and Slack with the absence of nonverbal cues. Be a little more literal – either note that it’s sarcasm in the email, add an emoji or even throw in a meme to get your point across.
FAVE WEBSITE RIGHT NOW
Postmates has gotten us through this quarantine – from 3-Ways to sushi, Postmates always delivers (ha, ha). This week, they began sharing their newsletter The Post Up , a Monday morning newsletter with “bite-sized news” they think we’ll love. We’ve enjoyed reading about how restaurants are adapting during the pandemic, Jeopardy fails, new recipes to try, and even an offer code.
SUPPORT THAT'S RIGHT HERE

We are here if you need marketing communications advice or support. We’ve put together specially-priced packages with flexible payment terms on media relations, social media and creative strategy , all services we consider to be critical right now. We’re in this with you. Contact elyn@rasormarketing.com to talk about this and any other help you need.
DAILY DISTRACTION
Reddit.com/r/greebles is full of cats who see invisible-to-human-eyes monsters (“greebles,” if you will.) Please enjoy.
STAY CONNECTED
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