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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Little things and big things

Book publicist Maryglenn McCombs did her work properly yesterday, reporting to her publisher client the little flaw I found on Brand Harmony author Steve Yastrow's Brand Cafe website.

It is good to put things into perspective. We spend much of our time worrying about little things, and then discover something truly major dwarfs the apparently minor concerns. So, for example, is my last posting -- where the company president at a family-owned business decamped for the competition -- just ahead of the previous post, where I noticed, in lamenting my own failings in Brand Harmony, that marketing guru Steve Yastrow's organization had itself failed in a minor (but significant) way to manage brand harmony by allowing a dead link at a key ordering point for his book.

Losing a website link is one thing; (possibly) losing the market driver for a well-established family business is another. But there are important correlations between the two entirely different levels of concern here.

First little things can create big connections -- I enjoyed Steve Yastrow's personal comment and email last night where he explained how the bad link occurred. He promised to send me a copy of his new book: We: The Ideal Customer Relationship.

Second, little things, unchecked, can become big things -- and little things, handled in perspective, can be corrected easily. When I discovered the website flaw, I quickly found a public relations/communications link on the same website, which worked, and contacted book publicist Maryglenn McCombs. She acknowledged the situation and escalated it -- to ensure the problem is fixed. Yastrow's prompt personal response ensured the flaw I discovered is compensated by the overall brand harmony. When you have good harmony and systems in place, you will find self-correcting mechanisms.

Third, big crises can become big opportunities, if you pull together your resources, think rationally, and act quickly. It is best to avoid the crisis in the first place; and second best to have a good plan in place to deal with the situation. When all fails, however, it is wise to be humble enough to ask for help.

With the limited information at hand, I responded to the contractor in the previous posting, and will follow up with a call today. I also forwarded the story to my network of connections, to see if they have any suggestions (obviously protecting the contractors' privacy in the process -- I make it a policy never to name businesses in distress in this blog.)

Here we find how a simple missed link on a website and a mammoth business crisis find their place on the same page; little things count, cumulatively they can become big things.

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