Never Say Never

June 2, 2017

by Roger Pynn

We can all hope that British Airways never again has an IT failure like the one that stranded thousands of passengers over the weekend, and while it may be a laudable objective, saying you plan to never let something terrible happen again is an all-in bet you might not want to make.

“Once the disruption is over, we will carry out an exhaustive investigation into what caused this incident, and take measures to ensure it never happens again,” BA CEO Alex Cruz said.

Those advising Cruz on messaging should have known better and that in an industry that has been taking so many hits, erring on the side of caution is the best rule.  Just as you can’t be sure you won’t have an unruly passenger or turbulent weather, you can’t promise technology won’t fail.

So what makes sense in a case like this when the pressure is on?  Perhaps you advise your executive to acknowledge that “in today’s technology dependent world we all know the potential for glitches, but it behooves us to investigate this situation exhaustively and do everything in our power to find solutions and redundant protection for the future.  We truly apologize and appreciate the patience of all those who were inconvenienced.”

Did You Enjoy the Ride?

December 5, 2014

by Roger Pynn

So I’m a certified space junkie.  As children, my brother and I would climb atop our roof on Orlando’s east side – much to our mother’s chagrin – armed with what today would be called “toy” binoculars so we could watch Alan Shephard become the first American in space in 1961.  And we did the same when John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth.

Had the skies been clear this morning, I could have used a pair of binoculars that also included a high resolution digital camera to take pictures of Orion as it lifted off, but because it was cloudy we just sat back and watched that magnificent behemoth of a rocket not just until it disappeared across the Atlantic, but we rode it all the way through a four and a half hour adventure.  As NASA Flight Director Mike Sarafin said from Mission Control in Houston, “While this mission was unmanned, we were all aboard Orion.”

And that’s what makes Orion a subject for our blog about targeted communication.  The U.S. space program has driven the creation of technologies and tools we use every day and take for granted as if they were toasters in our kitchens … and, yet, they enabled a communications revolution whose horizon appears endless.  NASA has mastered the use of those technologies not just to monitor performance and safety, but to be sure that taxpayers and politicians have a seat in the cockpit and get drunk on the excitement of each and every mission.  Kudos to them!

And to the rest of us … what fruits of their labor will you take advantage of next and why in the world would we not want to push the boundaries of space if it can produce such incredible technologies?  I only hope I live long enough to climb up on my roof to watch a team take off from Cape Canaveral and land on an asteroid … or even Mars.

Of course, I’ll probably see it from the comfort of an easy chair on some tool no one has yet invented but which came from an “aha moment” aboard some future Orion mission.  Maybe I’ll be able to chat with the crew.

Know Your Audience

August 9, 2010

by Connie Gonzalez

We named our blog “Taking Aim” after careful discussion of what we do. There’s little question in our industry that targeted communication is the best communication.

So why is that solicitors think we will buy whatever they are selling when they come knocking at our door? Recently a group of solicitors showed up selling spa services and asked “so what kind of law firm is this?” What little chance they had at pedaling their products was lost when I answered, “We’re a public relations firm.”

As the gatekeeper in this office, solicitors constantly suggest that I ask around to see if anyone in the office would be interested in their product or service. I politely say no and send them on their merry way.

So whether you’re pushing spa deals or public relations, it’s up to you to know your audience.

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