Finding Power in the Dark

It seems pointless to blog about marketing or business after the week we’ve gone through. The area I live in, although inland, was on track to take a direct hit from Hurricane / Storm Sandy. By the looks of it, we did and were lucky. According to tracking I’ve seen the eye passed over us, which was a blessing. We did not get much damage at all.

Others weren’t so lucky.

We were told. We were warned. We knew this would be bad, but we had no ability, no reference to comprehend how bad it would be. Leading up to the storm we prepared what we could, as did those who took the worst hits. We did what we could, but we underestimated the power of, well, power.

Power won. The power of nature was awesome. We had plans and back up plans, we had our strategies in place. And while they most definitely mitigated some of the danger, we had no basis to plan for what we couldn’t comprehend. In a very short period of time nature took us to our knees, and stripped away the trappings to who we are as people. To what we stand for. To what we believe in.

We have seen reports of weakness, strength, courage and grace. We have seen the power of collaboration, and the power of support. We saw the power of fear and the power of survival.

We also saw the power of power. As large chunks of the northeast continue to be without electricity, we learned the immediate effects, and now are learning the long term effects. And we’re learning them instantly, globally. Even in darkness people can’t hide. With all the social media tools and apps out there, with all the technology, there are eyes, ears and reporters everywhere.

Whether you do something bad or something good (and most stories have been good) you can bet it will get out there. That is the world we live in now, even if it is dark where you are.

  • If you’re Groupon and offer deals in devastated areas, you’ll be called out for your callousness.
  • If you are Planet Fitness and you have power and you offer a warm place and hot showers to folks who aren’t members, you’ll be called out for your generosity.
  • Hoboken Sharing Power in NeedIf you’re an unnamed stranger in Hoboken who has a electricity and sets up power charging stations outside for strangers simply because you can, or if you post on social sites that you have power and showers and welcome those who don’t in, you’ll be called out for your humanity.
  • And if you try to profit or gain from the disaster others are facing solely for yourself, you will be marginalized.

So remember, your audience is made up of people. Your audience is powerful, even when there is no electricity. And take a lead from the people, doing good matters.

Authenticity matters. (And so does planning!)