Collaborative resource collects, curates and preserves the corporate response to COVID-19 to inform future crisis response
The COVID-19 pandemic has required that corporations respond, adapt, lead, and serve others with greater urgency than any other global event since World War II. As a result, corporations are making history and learning lessons in real-time that can inform a stronger corporate response to the next major global disruption. To make those lessons more readily available, History Factory is launching the COVID-19 Corporate Memory Project, a living archival resource to which business leaders can turn for a greater understanding of the corporate response to the current crisis as well as for insight and guidance for how to prepare for and respond effectively to the next crisis.
The COVID-19 Corporate Memory Project is a free and collaborative resource designed to collect, curate, and preserve the real-time history of the pandemic as it is being made by corporations who are responding to the crisis and influencing its outcome.
At c19corporatememory.org, History Factory is combining crowdsourced content from corporate contributors with publicly available media coverage, press releases, social media posts and statements, documents, photography, video and a range of other digital materials related to the pandemic’s impact on the business world. The material is organized in four categories that reflect the realms in which corporations are responding to the pandemic, listed here with an example from each:
-The Changing Nature of Work: Ford engineers continue to work on the new Mustang in their home garages.
-Fighting the Pandemic: New Balance pivots to produce a general-use face mask.
-Leading in a Crisis: Land O’Lakes CEO Beth Ford confident of food production but warns of distribution issues.
-Service and Community: Starbucks fights hunger.
The Project’s primary focus is on collecting content from large corporations and has already curated more than 300 assets from such corporations as Airbnb, Kimberly-Clark, Marriott, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Uber, and The Walt Disney Company. How these enterprises respond and adapt to the global pandemic will be critical to shaping its outcome, politically, technologically, and socially. The goal is to extract learning from their experiences.
Laurie Barnett, Southwest Airlines’ Managing Director, Communications & Outreach, said:
“By contributing to the COVID-19 Corporate Memory Project we can help other corporate executives learn from our experience of the pandemic. And we hope that many other corporations will participate so that we can learn from them. It would be a shame for us as leaders to work so hard to overcome this unprecedented moment without capturing – in a way that can benefit us all – the real-time decisions, innovations and contributions we are making as we rise to meet this challenge.”
Eliot Mizrachi, Vice President, Communications & Content at Page, said:
“Communication leaders on the front lines of their organizations’ pandemic response are hungry for best practices. The COVID-19 Corporate Memory Project is a unique sharing platform that can help corporate leaders find out how others are navigating this historic crisis. I encourage communicators to contribute.”
Jason Dressel, Managing Director at History Factory, said:
“History Factory decided to create the COVID-19 Corporate Memory Project as a pro bono service to provide leaders, corporate communicators, and journalists with easy access to a real-time archive of content focused solely on how corporations are responding to one of the greatest challenges in modern history. With forty years in the business of collecting, curating, and communicating corporate experience, we understand how a resource that showcases lessons learned from this pandemic can help business leaders drive strategy and business planning going forward. We will continue to add to this Project as long as COVID-19 is driving corporate behavior. We hope that it will become an important source of study for years to come.”
History Factory welcomes submissions from all corners of the media and business world. Visit c19corporatememory.org and click SUBMIT to contribute content to the archive or to contact History Factory regarding bulk submissions or very large files.
Founded in 1979, History Factory is an agency that helps corporations employ their most underused assets – their history and heritage – to enhance and transform strategy, brand positioning, marketing, and communications that drive measurable results.