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August 28, 2011

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Amber_Cargile

David, I've handled crisis comms numerous times, including on the ground in Haiti after the earthquake. Your summary is excellent and I couldn't agree more!

twitter.com/douglaskarr

With much respect, I'm going to totally push back on this. If Irene had hit full force, the city flooded, and lives lost - you wouldn't be congratulating anyone. The only reason why this all sounded great is because the storm didn't hit hard.

Had Irene hit as hard as Katrina, no one would be cheering the communication program of Mayor Bloomberg. If you look back in the archives pre-Katrina, you'll find the same warnings from local, state and federal resources.

The communication didn't matter in the end... it was whether or not the leaders actually planned and executed their emergency programs. The action was where they fell short. Our politicians are somehow under the impression that a lack of decisiveness can be covered up by lots of meetings with reporters. Don't cheer them on.

Thank goodness for New York and the rest of the East Coast that Irene didn't hit hard... you should be thanking Irene, not Bloomberg.

Jeff

I agree, he did a good job with pre-storm communication, was clear, concise and had to go mass media to get people to listen. The best chance to avoid massive pain in the event that the storm had packed the wallop some predicted is to get people out of the worst areas. Many of the pre-emptive strikes of shutting down power and evacuations went off pretty well.

I wonder now that the weather "experts" got this so wrong, if people will listen the next time there is a pre-emptive disaster announcement?

Jeff

Joel Heffner

>>The communication didn't matter in the end... it was whether or not the leaders actually planned and executed their emergency programs.<< I don't really understand. In this case, there certainly was a plan and it was carried out. The entire transit system was closed down...for the first time ever! People were told to go to shelters who were never told to go to shelters before. For those of us who have lived in NY for our entire lives, we know that the planning matched the rhetoric.

Davina K. Brewer

Was just polishing off my own post for tomorrow on this when your tweet caught my eye. ITA from the reports I've seen, TPTB in NY and NJ, etc. did a good job getting word out, taking charge, requiring evacuations, etc. To Douglass' point, yes it goes without saying that if the storm was worse it of course would have had a much more significant impact regardless but in this case, I think the combination of strong media warnings along with firm executive decisions - mandating transit shutdowns, for example - would still have made a difference. FWIW.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for these comments. And on a Sunday too.

@douglaskarr - Thanks for offering your views but I do not agree with you. While it is likely that If many people had lost their lives, I probably would have not done a post about Mayor Bloomberg's communications efforts (because the post would have seemed uncaring), I still believe that he did an excellent job.

Yes, after 25 years in the working world in roles such as head of Corporate Communications & VP marketing at public companies and now as a writer and speaker about marketing & PR, I do think I am able to separate the actions from the communications.

Having been in NYC for the past three days, I see that the city did both -- action and communications. But this post was about just the communications aspect.

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