This is one of those times when it can feel pretty pointless being a features journalist. When the world is focused on the terrible events in Ukraine, who cares about pancake toppings or weekend breaks when Russia is hell-bent on death and destruction?
I’m old enough to remember working on a newspaper when 9/11 happened and it felt all wrong to do anything other than talk or write about that subject – but looking back, we did.
As long as it’s not insensitive, we all need a break from doomscrolling from time to time.
But on the main subject, what impresses me now, with the advent of social media, is that the cycle that goes ‘world events, initial – sometimes inappropriate – reaction, anger, practical plans’, has speeded up.
I watched from Thursday to Monday as the grim situation of the invasion unfolded and was grateful that I knew the Ukrainian chef and food writer Olia Hercules, whose posts and commentary proved invaluable.
To paraphrase what she said, this is no time for virtue signalling and hand wringing – those in the country and fleeing it need our help. Luckily both journalists and PRs are well equipped for this: by offering raffle prizes, hosting fundraisers in their spaces, linking clients with charities and much more. Right now is the time to donate those leftover tote bags to a charity collecting clothes, or to ask your cookery ingredient client to give in bulk for a #cookforukraine event…
What Lisa Thinks…
“I like food-related data as it can spark a feature, but pity the poor PR who tried to read me this over the phone (hoping to cut through the inbox mayhem no doubt). This is very much a best-written-down scenario…”