It’s been a while since South Florida has seen a hurricane, so many people either may never have experienced one, or they have become complacent and unprepared.
As a native Floridian, I have weathered many a storm. And, as a journalist, I saw up close and personal the devastation hurricanes can bring.
Preparing for a storm can be a lot like preparing for a public relations crisis. We hope it never comes, but if it does, we can make it through if we are prepared.
As Tropical Storm Erika makes its way through the Atlantic, many people are taking a wait-and-see attitude. But is that really the best approach? As with public relations, probably not. These days you can’t take a stick-your-head-in-the-sand approach and hope that whatever happens blows over.
As a hurricane nears the last thing you want to do is decide that now is the time to run out and buy plywood for your windows and stock up on water and batteries. The same applies in public relations – prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
The following are some things you should put into place before a crisis occurs:
If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or have even been around kids for an extended period of time, you likely are familiar with Minecraft. If you haven’t seen it, it’s basically a game that provides the user with a blank slate where you can create your own world – sort of like high-tech Legoland, but without the mess.
My youngest daughter had been bugging me for a while to let her have it, and this summer I gave in and purchased it for her Samsung Galaxy tablet so she can play with her friends while at camp and at home.
While few things hold my daughter’s interest for long, Minecraft has gotten a hold of her and I am finding (to my surprise) that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I asked her why it’s so compelling and her answers made me think that while this may be a game, it’s also a form of social interaction and a teaching tool.
At first she said she liked it because “you get to build what you want” – and build she has. In the span of a week she had an entire “village” complete with a wishing well, hair salon, library, housing for her butlers (who assist her) and a storage unit for her food, which she has filled with lots of cake.
Here’s where the social interaction and teaching comes in: Minecraft also allows users to connect with, share and learn from others. She spends time in-person with friends learning and talking about the game. Going to a new camp can be scary when you don’t know anyone, but the game has given her something she has in common with new acquaintances. When she is home, away from her friends, she also can visit their worlds and spend time with them virtually.
I recently was asked to give a presentation to a group of business people. One of the things they asked me to do was tell a little about myself. This forced me to sit down and to think about who I was and how my career had evolved over the last few decades.
Before going into public relations, I spent my formative years as a journalist learning and honing my craft. But I rarely let grass grow under my feet. Some might say I job jumped too much and sometimes I even worried that perhaps I should have stayed in some jobs longer than I did.
Back in my parents’ day companies instilled in their workers a sense of loyalty. As a result, you took a job and tried to hold onto it until you retired. But that is changing. I recently read an article that said U.S. workers have an average job tenure of only 4.6 years.
A Careerbuilder study published in May found more than half (55 percent) of employers surveyed said they hired a job-hopper and nearly one-third (32 percent) of all employers said they have come to expect workers to job-hop.
The next time you are considering a new hire consider this: Job jumpers bring with them a sense of excitement and desire to learn and share their knowledge. They are more adaptable and can get up to speed more quickly than those who have grown stagnant in their jobs. Many jump because they are recruited and are desirable to have as employees.
That’s not to say there aren’t negatives to hiring job jumpers, but the onus is on the company to make them want to stay.
As for me, I think my job jumping days are over. I like it where I am in life.
Susan R. Miller is founder of Garton-Miller Media, a full-service, South Florida based public relations firm. Susan is a former journalist with more than 30 years of experience.
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.