When does the world stop turning?


When does the world stop turning?

At least 30 people died when bomb after bomb exploded, each one timed to inflict maximum casualties.

In Iraq. On Tuesday.

Did you stop your marketing?

Did you stop your marketing the day that Steve Jobs died? Roger Ebert? Margaret Thatcher? Nora Ephron? What about when Osama bin Laden was killed? Or the day of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings? Or the day that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was shot in the head at a grocery store?

Did you stop your marketing when explosions during the Boston Marathon blasted off limbs and killed at least three people, including an 8-year-old boy?

Did you stop your marketing last night, when an explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas blasted away homes and killed at least five but probably 15 people, including a firefighter?

Did you stop?

Should you stop?


No, really, why?

You’re the only one who can decide. Sometimes you’ll have to decide in the moment. It’s better to decide on guiding principles in advance.

You must base your decision on your audience’s demographics and your audience’s expectations. If people outside your audience don’t like your decision, does it matter?

You must believe in your decision. You may have to defend it. Do your instinct, your experience and your actions align?


This will happen again.

This is happening again.

Update, Friday, April 19, 2013:

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Arienne Holland is the Director of Marketing and Customer Experience at Raven. She divides her time between outreach, writing, teaching and understanding developers. Before Raven, Arienne spent more than a decade as an editor and graphic designer for Gannett. She was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for team breaking news journalism. She likes bread, books and bourbon.

More about Arienne Holland | @RavenArienne

Tell us what you think

  • http://twitter.com/customwriting3 customwriting

    The world of marketing does not stop. That is a fact!

  • RavenArienne

    Thanks for the perspective, Rae. “What will have a lasting effect?” — that’s an excellent question to ask, too.

  • http://twitter.com/sugarrae Rae Hoffman

    In my opinion, the only way to combat past evil is to do present and future good. We shouldn’t need occurrences like this to remind us to make the world a better place, but the best way to honor every person involved in every disaster, natural or a$$hole made is to carry on and use it as fuel to improve the world they left behind.

    Watching the news, tweeting sympathy, staying quiet as a business – it doesn’t have a lasting effect on the world or the people in it. Shutting off the news – donating blood, donating food to a food bank, donating clothes to a women’s shelter, donating time and skills to a organization, donating money to help a cause – these actions have lasting effect and honor the memories of all those lost.