Well, here we are . . . one day after Hurricane Sandy left our area (NY/NJ/CT) but only after leaving a trail of destruction and tragedy behind her.
During this difficult time, I have received several emails that sought to ride-the-coat-tails of this significant weather event. Most were sad attempts to be cute but, in the end, were either horrifically boorish or downright cloddish and insensitive.
A high-visibility news event offers you an opportunity to leverage the heightened focus of existing media coverage to make your message relevant by relating your message to the ‘news’ factor of the event.
Unfortunately, when a news event is a disaster — natural or man-made — there’s a significant risk you’ll be seen as ‘crass and insensitive’ if you seek to relate your message to it. One email I received today said, “Like hurricane Sandy, our sale prices will BLOW YOU AWAY!”
Obviously, there’s a fine line between relating your message to a major news event in a positive manner and ‘going too far’ with your message. But it can be done.
Here’s another email I received today from American Express:
As you can see, it’s very much about their interest in the well-being of myself and my family.
It’s sensitive to the potential difficulty this hurricane may have created for people living in my area. It’s not selling. It is a sincere reflection of regard . . . for my well-being.
It is the way you can safely piggy-back on a major news event that has the distinction of being a ‘disaster’.
Promoting yourself around a news event that is also a serious disaster is best done by focusing on your clients’ well-being and not your ‘Storm Special’ offer!