On Mar 15, 2020, our CEO, Diego Gomes, wrote:
Took the Sunday morning to address all of you regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, and the broader second and third-order impacts that will derive from it.
Before anything, I’d like to reinforce that our hearts go out to anyone in our global community who may be affected by the coronavirus.
The current situation remains with the potential to change rapidly and as you likely have seen last week, the health and safety of our employees, customers and talent are paramount for us.
We are actively taking preventive measures and Rock remains committed to managing this issue in the best possible way to ensure that our rockers, talent, and customers are able to navigate this situation as smoothly as possible. We remain committed to being a positive force amidst chaos… So, here we go.
The world, the markets, and people’s behaviors are gonna get weird and it is very likely that we will see a significant degree of economic deceleration. The markets have already shown strong signs of entering a tough period. But then, things get better and gradually go back to normal.
Our concerns about this novel virus are important, valid, but they are cause for us to be prepared, not frightened. It is important for us to remember that thousands of customers and talent around the world are still relying on us, and we have to be there for them.
The rocker way:
People are going to continue to panic and then they’ll stop. But we have control over our lives, our attitudes and we can be either go along with the masses or take the high ground.
By high ground, I mean: Instead of getting paralyzed and wait for the consequences, we can take an accountable position to be a positive force in helping our business and our community to keep going, even when times are tough.
We could choose to a) stay home watching the news all day and freaking out about how the world will look like in the next months or b) we could remain committed to our jobs and try to reduce/minimize the impact of this sad situation the world facing. I chose option b.
And that’s why I believe this is the rocker way of doing things. We’ve seen several challenging moments in the past and we always went through those stronger than before. We’re not a company of complainers, we’re a company of doers.
Chaos & opportunity:
Most of your competition will be following the masses and getting distracted over the news. I believe this means they won’t be close to their customers. They won’t be close to the prospects. They’ll stop marketing and selling. And if they do that, they won’t be a positive force to minimize the situation.
Some of our customers will consider stopping investing in their marketing, sales and growth programs. So, for us, this means that staying closer to them and helping them navigate this situation as smoothly as possible is more important than ever. If we’re there for them, they’ll remind it when it’s over and we are going to get through this, stronger.
Obsessing over it, worrying about it, and panicking does not help and I suggest we don’t. We must be aware, adapt, but we can’t stop. We must keep focused and remain committed. It’s time to act and take the high ground.
It’s time to reinforce our value proposition to our customers:
Rock is a global, distributed company and I’m proud that it has become a significant advantage for us. In times of uncertainty, with remote collaboration and a significant number of companies adopting work from home policies (we included), the distributed dynamics of our marketplace becomes our biggest strength.
We should remind our customers about that. We must remind them why, now, even more than before, is the best time to remain or become a Rock partner.
Here’s why our products are more relevant than ever now:
- Our Talent Network: Even in moments like these, the demand for creative content will continue to exist. But companies will do hiring freezes. Our scalable, on-demand workforce is here to help them keep their content engines going on, without having to hop on planes or go to the office. This is beautiful and we should leverage it and learn from their remote work skills. Let our customers know that we always worked with the remote talent we already know a thing or two about it.
- Our SaaS platforms: Managing work in remote settings is challenging and the majority of the companies are not ready for it. Our platforms support remote collaboration and drive cost efficiency. We win by being affordable and increasing our customer’s productivity.
- Education: RockU keeps certifying people from wherever they are. Our blog remains strong with millions of visits every month. Online education is now more important than ever and we should leverage that to help our customers excel in their marketing programs.
- Also, this is a good time to remind the industry that when nobody is promoting, that’s the best moment to stand out from the crowd and double down on content. That’s the approach we’ll be taking and our marketing and sales programs will remain at the same levels as before.
It’s time to stay disciplined:
Now is more important than ever to keep operating in a lean and conscious setting. I need help from all of you to:
- Delay new investments, unless they are strictly necessary for customer happiness or rockers safety;
- Review budgets and existing investments. This is a good time to review our expenses and cut everything unnecessary. The next few months might show some challenges but we will overcome those if we’re disciplined with our costs. Please, cut unnecessary spending and leverage Rock’s resources as if they’re yours.
- Communicate more, communicate often. This is a time to document, write and share updates as often as possible. The minimum cadence is weekly. Working remotely requires even more discipline in communication in order to keep everyone on the same page on what’s going on.
- Be in front of the customer (remotely, obviously). Be proactive and ask how they think their business is gonna be affected. Ask how we can help and do more for them. Be genuinely eager to help. This is an investment for the future, and when things get back to normal, their admiration for Rock will only increase.
- Q2 is a specially important moment for us. We still have a big business to integrate and thousands of customers to serve. It is time to stay focused and learn how to collaborate better remotely. It is time to be disciplined about hitting our goals and I’m counting on each rocker for this. You can rest assured I am 110% committed to it as well and it is my responsibility to prepare ourselves to navigate the uncertainty and get out of it stronger.
It’s time to stay strong:
I would like to thank and highlight the importance of all rockers worldwide working harder than ever through a difficult time and putting in the effort to keep themselves healthy.
Now is the time to lean on each other and draw strength from our community while helping it through the recovery phase. If we stay in sync and remain true to our values and leadership principles, we’ll be fine.
Rock’s COVID-19 Memo PS: Beyond focusing on our lives, jobs, and our business, I strongly incentivize everyone to avoid crowds and to wash your hands. Stay healthy, stay strong and keep rocking!