Lessons from Sandy

Nov 2 2012

The impact of Hurricane Sandy can teach us valuable lessons. Not only should we be prepared to expect the unexpected but there should be a clear and integrated plan to be quickly up and running again when a problem presents itself. It seems like in the case of the transportation authorities and the utility companies, last year’s Hurricane Irene provided a valuable education in emergency response planning. The same framework model can be applied to any business and, when used, helps maximize the success rate of a company.

As you are aware, any good plan should include a bucket list of goals and objectives, desired outcomes, metrics for measuring your progress, timelines and budget. In order for growth to be tracked, a control must be set in place, ie a measurable plan. Whether your planning is personal or business, it should be attainable. Setting goals that do not have a likelihood of being accomplished are a waste of time and resources. While the ingredients of a strong plan may be widely understood, it is surprising how often the marketing of a company is an afterthought rather than an integral part of a strategic corporate plan. Marketing is more powerful when it is wrapped in a strong strategic blanket. Combine meaningful marketing with a strong strategic plan and the result is dynamic.

Planning is important, and not just in crises [click to tweet]. Too many marketing and communications teams operate on a day-to-day basis, sacrificing the impacts that can be made with more integrated and strategic campaigns. The whole really is greater than the sum of the parts.

It’s tough in a busy office to sort the urgent from the important and we could all do well by allocating 30 minutes or more each working day to just thinking. Activity doesn’t create results by itself. Strategic planning and thinking allows a company to provide transparency. This in turn allows scrutiny of its strengths and weaknesses, and to discuss things affecting, or things that could affect, the company in the future. Paragon was able to weather Hurricane Sandy by having a well thought out plan that enabled it to get back on its feet only hours after the storm had subsided. If we hadn’t, we may not have been able to publish this article.

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