Cam Beck (ChaosScenario) has a very thoughtful post about the tragic bridge collapse in Minneapolis and the heroism that emerged. For him, it served as a reminder that as marketers, we sometimes go for the cheap pay off, rather than honoring the best of what humans can be.
In my comment, I made this observation. I think in moments of crisis (Mpls, 9-11, house fires) human beings don't think– they just react. And they react from a place very deep inside of them. Their true self. Their heart of hearts. And that's how ordinary people suddenly become heroes. Because they don't have time to talk themselves out of doing what is right and good.
I'm not just waxing poetic here. I think there is a rock solid marketing message in there. You know when companies mess up? When they over-think a decision. When they override their own instincts. When they suddenly worry if they're going to get into trouble. Let me give you an example.
We recently won a new client who told me an all too familiar story. They had a problem arise in their place of business and got some bad press coverage from it. Their first instinct was to have the CEO serve as the spokesperson and deal with the issue frankly and openly.
But, then they thought about it. And got some very bad advice from a PR professional who said the CEO should not be in any way tainted by being associated with this bad event.
What a crock. If they had trusted their gut and done what they knew was authentic to them — the storm would have passed quickly and been seen for what it was.
But instead, they over-thought the decision and made a complete mess of it. Because they ignored what their heart was telling them.
If you and your employees truly understand your organization's soul — you know what to do. In every situation. Stay true to that and be your company's hero. Don't think it to death. Don't wait for it to be perfect. Just listen to the company's heart and act.