It wasn’t until recent events that I learned the platform I use to record the How I Made It In Marketing podcast – Riverside – is based in Israel.
You may have colleagues, customers, vendors, or others you work with in Israel as well, since this tiny nation plays an outsize role in the marketing industry.
To help you continue to collaborate those teams, read on for tips from marketers and entrepreneurs who are both inside and outside Israel.
After Ukraine was attacked, a reader wrote to us and asked, “Could you write an article or make a social media post about what is going on in Ukraine? … We need your help!” And so we did. Not about the war itself, but about working with colleagues affected by the war in Ukraine.
The recent events in Israel warrant a similar article. MarketingSherpa is ill positioned to write about the barbaric atrocities perpetuated by a terrorist organization intentionally targeting innocent civilians in Israel, whose victims include not only lsraelis, but also citizens of the United States, Britain, Thailand, Nepal, France, Argentina, Brazil, the Philippines, Ukraine, Russia, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Tanzania, Peru, Paraguay, Colombia, Mexico, China, Canada, Italy, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Belarus, Romania, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey.
But we can help you how we help you every week – excel at your job, navigate the marketing industry, and have a positive impact. Because if you are a marketer or entrepreneur, you likely have some connection to Israel:
And whatever people or organizations you have a connection to have likely felt a direct impact from the terror attacks – 1,400 people were murdered, 3,400 wounded, and 199 hostages are being held captive by terrorists. The human toll of these events is devastating. To provide some perspective on the scale, if that attack happened to the same proportion of the American population, it would equal 51,000 murdered, 125,000 wounded, and 7,422 hostages.
So even if you don’t personally know a victim, you are likely working with somehow who does.
There is no single correct way to navigate this situation as a marketing professional or entrepreneur. Some consider it in poor taste to even delve into work discussions while funerals for the terror victims continue to take place, while others believe that responding to these atrocities by helping each other thrive and prosper is the way forward.
Those still in danger likely have a variety of views as well – from the desire to focus on more vital things to looking at their work as an economic lifeline and act of defiance.
In this article, we bring you insights from fellow marketers and entrepreneurs working through this situation right now. Much like when we bring you a marketing case study or podcast interview, the goal is not to claim that any of this information is the single authoritative answer for how to handle the unique challenges your team faces.
Rather our goal is to bring you specific examples and insights to inspire your own decisions as a compassionate, resilient leader. We are grateful to the professionals who shared their insights during such challenging times, and we hope their experiences can provide a roadmap for others navigating similar situations.
Some of these responses have been lightly edited for clarity and article fit.
Josh Amishav, Founder and CEO, Breachsense (Israel):
The ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict is impacting many companies here in Israel, as many tech and cybersecurity professionals have been called to active military duty. If you work with an Israeli service provider, there's a good chance that it will take longer than usual to get a response. In addition, sirens warning of incoming missiles have unfortunately become common place. When this happens, staff need to evacuate to a safe room for about 10 minutes.
This may disrupt scheduled meetings or maintenance. Having said that, Israelis are very accustomed to working remotely and in high-pressure situations.
If I needed to summarize in one word what we need right now, it would be patience.
Amy Kenigsberg, COO & Cofounder, K2 Global Communications (Maale Shomron, Israel):
The best way to support Israeli companies is to do business with them – and be patient, if necessary. (Israelis are used to getting things done under adverse circumstances.)
While many companies are short-staffed, bills still need to be paid. When the conflict ends, those companies need to be around to embrace their returning employees.
In short, seek out Israeli companies and become customers.
Scott Lieberman, Founder, TouchdownMoney (West Palm Beach, Florida):
The first thing we've done is donate money to the charity American Friends of Magen David Adom. They are a non-profit organization of 33,000 paramedics, EMTs, first responders, and first-aid providers. We are giving to support the men and women who are on the ground risking their lives in Israel to help people hurt by the terrorist attack and war.
The donation goes to training EMTs and Paramedics, increasing blood supplies for hospitals, and more.
We're encouraging everyone on our team to donate to this cause, especially because Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City is matching donations to double the impact.
In addition, we always need talented remote freelancers and we're looking to contract Israeli writers, graphic designers, and coders. We hope the money earned will help their economy devastated by war and pay for medical bills.
Joel Bouckaret, Founder, Booked (Canada):
Our AI-powered traveltech app is in its final stages of iteration one development. Our Lead Full-Stack Developer lives in Haifa, Israel. The attacks on Israel were abhorrent to say the least. So the first thing we did was offer to evacuate our developer and his family to somewhere safe.
Though he did not take us up on the offer, we do every morning check-ins on Slack; just a quick “How are you and your family?” and “Any significant events in the last 24 hours?” and “Are you good for the day, or do you want to take some time?"
We have apps – like Red Alert – that tell us when shelling is imminent or in progress, and we keep close track of the ever-evolving situation on the ground. While it is not our choice whether he stays in Israel, we do our best to provide a back stop for a worst-case scenario that covers both him and his family. We are always keeping an eye on flight availability from HFA (Haifa Airport) and TLV (Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv).
I have extensive experience with mortars, rockets, and surface-to-surface missiles; I understand the stresses that come with working in these types of high-threat environments. I deployed multiple times with the Canadian Armed Forces (Infantry). I then contracted with various United States and British government elements in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the African continent.
We will continue to work with Israel-based team members in the future; there is so much valuable tech knowledge and skill that comes from that region.
Dusan Simic, CEO & Member of the Board, 2Immersive4U (North Royalton, Ohio):
For us as a company, Israel was always one of the markets we looked forward to working with. Now, in these circumstances, we must adjust to the new reality of working with the Israeli companies.
What this means is making our operations more autonomous for our clients, and thus still continuing to provide them value while taking less of their time.
As an industry, we must be considerate of their unique predicament and that our partners may have reservist duties to their country, and families, so we try to keep the same quality of service with as little input as possible to make sure that they can fulfill their roles.
To do that, we switched our client engagement process to eliminate all intermediate points of contact, and just focus on the initial briefing and the delivery.
Some of our dear partners and friends are now drafted into their reservist roles so we are trying to be as helpful and empathetic as possible. We have examples of them working long shifts to ensure the safety of their country and families.
Since we’re working with clients from different backgrounds, we train our employees to be able to interact with people from different backgrounds. In the case of the current situation with Israel, we held an emergency workshop, detailing the new plan and the new cultural approach to match the sensitivities of the situation.
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