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When We Find Ourselves in Times of Trouble

When We Find Ourselves in Times of Trouble

If your experience is anything like ours, your email inbox is probably overflowing with Coronavirus messages. Businesses want to reassure us that they have effective continuity strategies in place. Professional organizations explain that events are being cancelled, postponed, or transformed into digital experiences. Nearly every email we send or receive starts and ends with the same message: "I hope you are well. Stay safe."

One message about the pandemic really stood out this week. It's from Goldstar Events.

Goldstar is a membership service that offers discounted tickets to live events. Founded in 2002, the business has more than seven million members, and represents more than four thousand event venues in twenty-six metro areas. (If you're wondering why the Bs are such fans of show business, email alex@bdirectmktg and the Queen B will share our recent presentation: "There's No Business Like ... Direct Marketing.")

Just like ticket issuers across the U.S., Goldstar had disappointing news to relay. A play for which we had bought tickets was being cancelled in the name of social distancing. This wasn't a surprise, but the email notice itself is a surprisingly wonderful piece of copywriting.

The subject line is: "Coronavirus Actions and Thoughts" and the body of the email reads as follows:

I never thought I'd say this, but I don't want you to go out to live entertainment right now. The live entertainment industry is postponing and cancelling shows as a measure to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. It's a step that makes a lot of sense, and it's going to continue for a while.

There are a few things I want to make sure you know during this time.

If you have tickets to a show that is or becomes postponed or cancelled, we will contact you. You don't have to do anything, and you don't have to worry about whether we'll get to it. As you might imagine, the number of these situations is enormous right now, so it's going to take longer than usual to get to you, but we will absolutely get to you with options.

For many shows, your options will include reschedules in the case of postponements (in the future), exchanging your tickets for the face value plus a 10% bonus voucher, a refund or making your ticket purchase a donation to the organization of the show.

Speaking of which, I encourage you in every way you can to support the organizations that deliver live entertainment and arts. This is an extremely challenging time for them, as it is for everybody in this industry. When the crisis passes, we want the theater staff, concert folks, comedy clubs teams, actors, producers, stage hands, athletes, box office personnel, ticketers and all the people working hourly shifts in the snack bars, parking lots, maintenance sheds and elsewhere in the industry to be healthy, poised and ready to help lead the return to normal life.

Goldstar members love live entertainment of all kinds and now is the time to stand up for it! I'm already personally jonesing to go see a musical or a baseball game!

But actually, I don't think that's the only thing I'm missing. The power of live entertainment isn't just the shows or events (which are great). It's the connection to other people, which right now is being limited. It's tough on people to be separated, but what I know for sure is that people want and need to be together. That's why they love going out.

And when the crisis passes, the need to gather together will return, stronger than ever. And, when that happens, the live entertainment industry and community want to be ready, and your help will matter. We'll be sharing more thoughts and ways about how you can do that in days to come.

And one day in the not too distant future, we'll see each other across the aisle or in the lobby at a theater or cheering our heads off at a baseball game or rocking like crazy at a concert.

I can't wait.

It's signed by Goldstar founder and CEO (and live entertainment fanatic) Jim McCarthy.

Thinking about the email, it's actually a bit challenging to pinpoint exactly why it works so well. Is it the sincere tone of voice? The balance of transactional information and sense of community? The plea to our better nature to support those in the arts who will be affected by shows postponing and cancelling? Or the terrific combination of all of the above?

Most of all, the email expresses the desire we all have to get back to what we enjoyed in life before the crisis. It is really rare — as in, unheard of — that an email from a business brings the reader to tears.

But, this one did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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