It’s unavoidable. I can’t turn anywhere without reading about impending doom and an oncoming (or perhaps already existing) depression. The office today was spinning with swear words as people read the news stories about Congress’ failure to pass the bailout plan. Right this moment, the top story headline on AzCentral reads “Dow plunges 777 points“. Sounds like a great time to be preparing for graduation and hyping yourself up for a job hunt, right?
I’m not the only one freaking out. As banks like Washington Mutual and Wachovia go down the tubes, financial institutions are turning to advertising to calm consumers. Meghan Keane, a Wired Magazine blogger, wrote a great posttoday about Charles Schwab’s efforts enforce the company’s stability in a time of turmoil. I expect other companies will go this route very soon.
Despite the ever depressing conditions, I can’t help but see this as a great opportunity for strong companies to get some positive press for a change. At a time when big corporations catch a lot of flack for not caring about customers and being solely profit driven, this presents an opportunity to turn the tide.
Allstate, for example, often gets played as the “big, bad insurance company,” but considering the recent AIG activity, I doubt Allstate customers are complaining now. Now is the time to leverage a long-standing company history of stability and success. I would be surprised if marketing packages from home office don’t come our way soon echoing these sentiments. If we don’t jump on this opportunity soon, other companies will. And they’re only smart to do so.