Well done Yankees.

In an attempt to be a timely blogger, I’m foregoing my nonexistent editorial calendar for the following hat tip:

Well played Yankees, Nice Job.


Hurricane Irene rocked the Carolina coast and northeastern states over the weekend and while there was tragic loss of life and significant damage, power outages, flooding still an issue, most of the states faired well. Why? Prior planning prevented poor performance. That and NYC beat the Cantore jinx, with Irene dropping to a Cat 1.

“Get the hell off the beach.”

Snap! to Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey in a nice moment of take-charge frankness. See also New York Communicator-in-Chief Mayor Michael Bloomberg who shut down the city and essentially told folks, they were on their own if they were foolish enough to mess with a storm like this.

In an age of ‘too big to fail’ shenanigans, crap indecision that pretends to be leadership – and as someone who raced in with water and supplies to family post-Katrina (granted, a much more powerful storm) Mississippi – it was nice to see leaders actually LEAD with smarts, bluntness and expect some personal responsibility of their citizens too.

Did you see it coming?

someecards.com - Sorry Hurricane Irene has been to more vacation spots than you this summerThat’s one thing you don’t always get in a crisis: Warning.

Unlike some natural disasters such as hurricanes or a snowpocalypse that somehow ‘surprised’ Atlanta with FAIL, catastrophies like tornadoes and earthquakes don’t call first. They just show up on your door and demand you deal with them. Right. Now.

See also, accidents, illnesses; production delays, recalls; customer service complaints; and a list of possible PR nightmares that goes from here, to there, and back.

As a manager or a PR pro developing a crisis communications plan, you need to consider the variables and develop your workflows accordingly, i.e human error vs. natural; levels of severity, scope and breath of impact and so on.

Watching interviews with various state and city officials, it was clear that plans were implemented, chains of command were activated and there would be NO Monday-morning finger pointing. They were going to get this thing DONE.

Anyone out there in the northeastern states, please tell me how you thought communications efforts were managed. Just an observer, love to hear your thoughts too.

Media credits: A Someecard and that Weather Channel commercial just cracks me up.

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17 thoughts on “Well done Yankees.

  1. As part of the strategic planning we do with the businesses we talk about disaster recovery, in whatever form it might be. Essentially anything that could jeopardize your business. If ‘this’ occurs, what is the first thing you are going to to? Who are the first 3 people you will call?

    You can’t plan for every type of disaster, but if you at least give it some thought and come up w/ a plan it puts you in a much better position should the unforeseen occur.
    Bill Dorman recently posted..Versatile Blogger Award: Thank You Allie

    1. It does.. and you have to think about those things Bill. Good idea on the first 3 people to call, has me thinking about other things: what is saved, how things are backed up (Hello, Cloud) and who’s on first so to speak when it goes to getting back up, running and bringing in money. Thanks.

  2. Love this, Davina! My favorite line from Gov Christie was “you’ve maximized your tan.” That was good stuff. I also caught with glee the live shot of him saying “get the hell of the beach.” Again, good stuff. Beyond the comic relief of it, it was refreshing to see a leader be a leader and say it in such a way that hit the mark. Too often, there’s political footwork, correctness and all around unnecessary deliberation that prevents the leader from doing said job.
    Erica Allison recently posted..Allison Development Group Gets Smart

    1. Oops, missed this in the refresh…

      WORD Erica. I liked the ‘profanity’ with the “hell,” that he dropped the political pretense of being all polished and rehearsed; like you said, it was refreshing. And his lecture: personal responsibility, doing everything short of calling folks sitting on the beach a bunch of idiots for not listening to all the warnings. Heh.

      From my the comfort of my sofa, it looked like the various governors and mayors had plans, that they’d long since been planning and working with their communications teams. No one had that ‘deer in headlights’ look, ya know? Now (as I replied on G+) I’m curious about what they’ll do next. I mean it’s harder to prepare for flooding; you know the water will rise, but it’s tough to predict which bridges will collapse, etc. Hopefully this will still get a little national media attention, at least for a while. FWIW.

    1. Thank you Stan! Forget about ‘looking’ like you’re doing the ‘right’ things.. just get it done, BE right and letting the ‘looking’ right take care of itself.

  3. As someone battling the ups and downs of my capricious site and host these days, I agree, having a back up plan is essential.
    I took to posting on G+ a few days last week when my blog was down. A platform is a platform, even if it’s not mine.

    Regarding political leadership in times of trouble. I am in the US so all I can say, looking at the whole Irene event from afar is that perhaps Katrina taught these politicians a few lessons. The biggest one being that FEMA is useless and it’s better not to have to call them.
    John Falchetto recently posted..4 ways to manage fear in business abroad

    1. I noticed your site woes John, glad to see you back online.

      Katrina taught a lot of lessons, not all learned sadly as we still see political and business leaders who are clueless. And don’t get me started on FEMA. If something needs to get DONE, better to go as local as possible. They’re staffed, on the ground and will cut thru the b.s. red tape – with a chainsaw if need be. 🙂

  4. Love your observations here Davina. Yep, it appears we finally have a few leads with the stones to speak up and not hold their finger to the wind. Christie and Bloom didn’t mince words, and ‘amen’ to that. It’s about time. Better to be safe than sorry. Just take charge and lead. This was quite an example.

    Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion recently posted..Is Derek Halpern Wrong? The Debate of Web Sidebar Design and Conversions

    1. It was nice to see them step up, a different kind of politics and leadership sans sugarcoating. I think a lot of business owners and managers can learn from that Marcus, the idea that it’s not always about getting it ‘right’ so much as it is taking action and getting what needs to be done, done.

  5. It’s a tough call for these guys, and they almost can’t win; ring the alarm, and pull out all the stops, and the storm doesn’t deliver and everyone calls it media hype. On the other hand, if they hadn’t done it, and the storm brought it on, they’d all get the blame. I agree with you, Davina, take no risk. Get. it. done.

    Lisa Gerber recently posted..A Woman In a Man’s Sand Castle

    1. That was the vibe I got Lisa, they were taking this seriously even though the storm wasn’t nearly as powerful as Katrina, it was a large system that has brought flooding rain. Thinking of some of the many corporate fails that could have gotten less criticism etc. had leaders been a little more “get. it. done.”

  6. As a west coast observer, I was pretty impressed with the pre-hurricane communications and the blunt words from leaders who normally use the “politico-speak” language. At first, I thought some of the evacuations were overkill, but then I remembered the last 2 big wildfires we had here in San Diego–several people died because they chose not to leave their homes until it was too late. Natural disasters are unpredictable, so it truly is better to be safe, even if you believe nothing will happen.
    Marianne Worley recently posted..How to Transform Yourself into a Better Listener

    1. That’s what got me Marianne, they didn’t hide behind polished speeches and bet-hedging positions, they quickly made decisions and stuck to them. They did take a chance on ‘overkill’ and hype, but as you say these things are unpredictable; you never know when that creek will flood, wash away a road or subdivision. Lesson learned from Katrina: Hope is not a plan. FWIW.

  7. Great roundup; well said, spot on and all that jazz. I was very impressed with the A response especially watching Mayor Bloomberg on the air waves. And, I also especially liked the cyclist battling the wind as the CNN reporter was doing the same. Sigh. No one will ever listen 100 percent, will they?
    Jayme Soulati recently posted..Monday Meanderings

    1. No Jayme, people won’t always listen. I know in some places, people get weary of the false alarms but that just goes with the territory. As I was writing this yesterday, I was just thinking about how people stepped up and made decisions; yes they’d be second-guessed and ‘what if’ but they did their jobs, took control which not all community or business leaders really do. FWIW.

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