Disaster Strikes the Northeast: What's That Got to Do with Marketing?

Sally Glick
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Hi everyone: It has been a tough week for millions of us impacted by Hurricane Sandy! I have been in stores with bare shelves, sat in line for two hours waiting for gas and have read by candlelight when the power was out at my home for days. It is a pleasure to have our office re-open today and to get back to a semblance of normalcy. But the challenges we faced did serve as a reminder that it is important to think about the message we are sending to our employees, clients and friends - whether in good times or bad. Most importantly, what does our behavior say about our personal and firm-wide values?

Of course, the most important thing for us was the safety of our staff and our clients and colleagues. We originally expressed this through a global email blast, trying to reach as many people as we could. Knowing that only those with power could access email, we resorted to "texting" and personal phone calls in an effort to offer assistance and support. It was also very important to us to proactively establish lines of communication to help alleviate the sense of isolation and desolation.

These small efforts made a huge difference to our audience. Just knowing that we cared, that we had resources to share, and that we were doing all we could to provide aid, brought comfort and solace.

I hope our colleagues in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are all back to business, with power and other amenities restored, or about to be restored. But the lesson for all of us continues beyond the storm. How do you behave? How do you demonstrate your sincere concern? How do you make an impact on others? These are key questions to incorporate into your Disaster Recovery Plan. Marketing communications does indeed play a critical role and can help you strengthen your reputation as a firm committed to your community under any circumstance.

Please feel free to share your experience if you were impacted by Sandy!

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