I saw a weather featurette on TV that dubbed 2011 “The Year of Destruction” because of the damage and deaths from the tsunami that hit Japan in March through the tornadoes, flooding and other natural disasters that plagued the United States. And it got me wondering about all the unnatural disasters we witnessed in the media and marketing. To me, 2011 could be considered “The Year of Self-Destruction.”
From Charlie Sheen to Tiger Woods, Anthony (never has a politician been more appropriately named) Weiner and Herman Cain, the PR and marketing professionals who handle such mega personalities seemed to be asleep on the job. By the time they awoke, their nightmares were well beyond simple damage control. Even major corporations weren’t immune to the year’s outbreak of oops-itis. Think Netflix would like to turn back the calendar? Quicker than you can say “Qwikster.” How about Bank of America’s ill-conceived attempt to charge customers a monthly fee to use their debit cards? The real cost was the number of customers who grabbed their assets and fled BoA.
While we can do little more than prepare for natural disasters, we can do plenty to avoid the unnatural ones. Start with honest forethought. Trade the rose-colored glasses for a pair of binoculars. Examine the consequences of today’s actions tomorrow and a month from tomorrow.
Your vision may not always be perfect, but it beats the heck out of the 20-20 version you’ll see in the rear-view mirror.