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3. Ctrl-Z! CTRL-Z!!!

3. Ctrl-Z! CTRL-Z!!! published on 3 Comments on 3. Ctrl-Z! CTRL-Z!!!

I’m a big believer in having people learn by doing. Guide them, but let explore an interface, discover the feature they’re looking for and use it.

But it’s maddening. Because if you’re like me, nothing, nothing is harder than watching someone else use a computer and do it wrong. The urge to reach over and seize the mouse or smack their fingers off the trackpad is almost overwhelming. It’s taken a lot of introspection and soul-searching to stop making little frustrated mewing noises when someone uses the menu to cut and paste instead of keyboard shortcuts.


2. Or maybe tilt-shift

2. Or maybe tilt-shift published on 2 Comments on 2. Or maybe tilt-shift

For anyone whose bread and butter involves message control and carefully rolled-out communication plans, it’s terrifying to contemplate the fact that there are more mobile phones in any given room than there are bacteria. (True fact. It must be – I read it on a PowerPoint slide somewhere.)

You can spend three months and untold sums of money carefully teeing up an event. And all it takes is for your guy to blurt something into someone’s Nokia on a sidewalk somewhere, and suddenly instead of talking about [Insert Cunningly Framed Narrative Here], you’re typing up talking points explaining about how your organization doesn’t really support mandatory euthanasia for pit bull terriers and their owners.

1. Photo op

1. Photo op published on 3 Comments on 1. Photo op

Introducing Damage Control. Stories torn from the headlines! Compelling human drama! Characters that have to look vaguely the same from one frame to the next!

In case anyone’s wondering, the characters are all fictitious. But like anyone else who’s worked in political communications, I’ve lived through this kind of crisis scenario.

After the eighth or ninth time, once the romance of it all has worn off, every crisis starts to feel like a distraction from the stuff you’re actually trying to accomplish. You stop getting your satisfaction from the adrenaline of the situation, and start getting it from how well you handle it.

But the first few times, it’s actually pretty exciting. You and your colleagues hunker down and revel in the feeling that you’re all in this together, and that you’re living through a combination of M*A*S*H, The West Wing and, at times, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.


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