There is a massive difference between a piece of dramatic news hitting that directly affects your company, in which case it is certainly compelled to respond in a timely and thoughtful manner; and a piece of dramatic new that doesn’t affect your company, in which case conventional wisdom says to keep your mouth shut and focus on the X’s and O’s, the 1’s and 0’s, the debits and credits.
I attended the mayoral mixer at the Charleston Digital Corridor last week (ok, I snuck in the back for free apps and drinks). The event was designed to be an opportunity for Charleston’s next leader to discuss their vision of how they would support and promote the growing technology community here.
The evening was a no-threat environment for the candidates: An open forum with a clear agenda and scripted questions which should have been known in advance. As if it wasn’t painfully clear what the discussion topics and expectations were, there was an editorial published in that morning’s Post and Courier signed by 10 of the area’s top technology leaders laying it all out in 350 words.
If Sheriff DeWitt had been my client, “Simply put,” I would have told him, “Your days of effectively leading law enforcement in this county are over – whether you choose to admit it or not. The only thing up for debate now is your legacy. Are you going to be remembered as a stand-up guy? Or an out-of-touch, power-hungry relic from the Boss Hogg days?”
The people of Charleston County overwhelmingly approved a building referendum for the CCPL and also overwhelmingly extended a sales tax to support CCSD. Obviously the libraries and schools are big winners. But we don’t just congratulate them because they won, we congratulate them on how they communicated effectively and clearly with the voters – and in so doing, they won big.
We have come a long way from the days of correlating column inches of earned media to an equivalent advertising space as ROI metrics. Yet sometimes I wonder if we have become so captivated with quantity, volume and “Big Data” that we miss the truly meaningful results – like getting someone home for Christmas.