In the midst and the aftermath of a storm like Sandy that takes lives and destroys over $50 billion worth of personal and business property, it's hard to focus on business as usual for the rest of us. We may have book launches, contests, and campaigns planned, but it seems awkward (and in some cases, wrong) to promote them as if nothing is happening on the other side of our country--to loved ones, family and friends. Even if we don't personally know anyone in the affected areas, we hurt and ache for them as we imagine what they must be going through and suffering. Millions are still without power and are offline--and grieving.
In times of disaster like this, I believe it is fine to postpone and/or cancel some of the promotional activities you might have planned. Not everything can be postponed or canceled, but if possible it might be appropriate. I saw where one of the online Scavenger Hunts lengthened the deadline for their contest for those in the east who had entered, but were knocked offline. It showed such thoughtfulness of others.
Many posted and tweeted encouraging thoughts and prayers. I'm never more proud of our nation than when we set aside our differences, our personal agendas, and pull together in solidarity to lend support and encouragement to those hurting and devastated by such massive tragedy. Several publishing houses in New York are struggling to reopen and become fully operational in all their facilities.
Earlier in the week Publishers Weekly posted an article detailing the status of publishers who were affected by Sandy, New York Publishing Struggling to Get Back Online Post-Sandy.
The Los Angeles Times posted an article stating that most bookstores survived the storm and will reopen with minimal damage and gave a list of a few that sustained significant damage, such as Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO, Bookstores After Sandy.
The Queens Chronicle opened their doors to two other publishers, including a direct competitor so they could publish their paper - another act banding together. Here is the article on Recovering the Devastation, Together.
While Social Media can be a valuable tool for spreading news in minutes, it can also be a massive web of confusion. A few took advantage of the moment and posted blatant lies and fake photos that others unknowingly shared, causing viral promotion of misinformation. One man even lost his job from posting false reports that were reported by real news organizations as factual news. In a situation like this where the news is being updated in minutes, there is no website where one can go in order to fact check information before sharing it. Man Faces Fallout for Spreading False Sandy Reports on Twitter.
What are your thoughts about Social Media behavior and continued promotion during times like this? Did you cancel or postpone any events? How do you decide what to share and what not to share?