By Ritchie Metha, School of Marketing
There is a sort of irony in our current global predicament.
As Coronavirus forces us into ‘social distancing’ it has brought the world closer together in a way that is unimaginable. Today, more than ever we stand as a global community, where no one is immune, no one can bend the rules, and everyone is working for a unified goal – to beat the virus.
In many ways it’s humanity at its best. It is often said that it’s the small things that can make all the difference and the virus has brought this to life from the simple art of washing hands (who ever knew it was an art) to staying at home and spending more time with our loved ones, whether at home or over Facetime.
So, it would seem that seemingly small actions can change the trajectory of this infection, flatten its curve (so to speak), and help save thousands of people. However, despite what’s at stake, it seems that changing our deep-seated behaviours is harder than it first appears. Despite the clear advice and directives, a small (but significant) minority are still seemingly prioritising their social liberties or need to work over the safety of the nation.
We are more interconnected than ever before and our health relies upon the good health and actions of others in our community, so anyone bending the rules and not taking responsibility for their actions is risking putting others more vulnerable than themselves in harm’s way. So much so that the government has now intervened and are fining people to just do the right thing – stay at home!
Believing in the power of simple actions, Paul Polman (Chairman of Imagine) and Ritchie Mehta (CEO of School of Marketing and Learn et al), set out to kick start a campaign on LinkedIn to promote solidarity around the world and show support for all those who are working tirelessly in the fight against the virus. This has all been achieved through one simple symbol: an emoji. They asked people to add a simple house emoji in their profiles. The symbol of a house shows that people are supporting the #stayathome efforts around the world and that in doing so they are helping to reduce the demand on key workers, hospitals and medical teams.
Since launching a few days ago, thousands of people from all corners of the world have joined the movement and have been encouraging others to join in. From TV stars to corporate titans, people are joining forces to show their solidarity.
It goes to show that more often than not, it’s the simple things that work the best and that an emoji can help to raise awareness and change behaviours, which will in turn save lives. How can you join in? Anyone can join in the movement. Go to your LinkedIn profile and add the house icon in your profile.