Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How Events Around the Globe Can Affect Your Business

Here’s my second blog post on It's Your Biz, powered by

I never expected the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to affect my business. Too far away from my U.S. offices.

I never expected the tornado and its devastation in Joplin, MO, to affect my business. Too far away from my offices in Washington DC and Arizona.

I never expected a volcano going off in Iceland to affect my business. Yes, I go to Iceland once or twice a year to give seminars. But the timing would have to be oh so precise....

Well, all three events DID affect my business. And in vastly different ways.

1) My client, Acura of Glendale (CA), had to suspend public relations (fortunately, only for two months) when they weren't getting any new cars or financing deals to promote. Why? Most Acuras that are sold in the U.S. are actually made in the U.S. But there are some little parts that are made in Japan. And without those parts...there are no new cars.

2) Life Cube Inc. started talking to us about doing their social media work about a month ago. Life Cube is a quickly deployable, portable shelter that can be enormously helpful in providing life-saving shelter and supporting on-the-ground operations by aid workers.

But the day after the Joplin, MO, tornado, Life Cube called us and said-start now! Here's the signed agreement and the check is in the mail (and it really was). We dropped everything and immediately set up their social media accounts, started Tweeting and obtaining significant "follows" for their accounts.

3) I was scheduled to go to Iceland to speak for the European Women Inventors & Innovators Network International Conference. But on May 21, three days before my trip, the Grimsvotn volcano started erupting and the Keflavik Airport outside of Reykjavik was closed. The conference, expecting more than 300 attendees from throughout Europe, was postponed until September.

So what's the lesson in all of this?
- Be aware of what is happening in the news-for yourself and for your clients. How can you localize and personalize a story for a client? The media loves local interest stories. How can you use this to make your social media more relevant and timely-a vital part of attracting attention on social media.

- I found out my ACURA client was "back in business" with new financing deals by calling her. She had not had time to call me and gear her PR back up. So stay in touch (without being annoying) and be there to help.

- After a day or two, I got in touch with the Icelandic conference organizers and offered to share my speech presentation and hand-outs with the people who WERE going to attend. I slightly changed the presentation, which was on Building a Brand on a Sustainable Business. I used it as an education/To Do piece that, now they had over three months to build their brand on sustainability, what steps they could take so it would be strong and powerful by the rescheduled date in September.

Yes, indeed, it's summer and the perfect season to make lemonade out of lemons!

Read the full blog.

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