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Showing posts from December, 2012

Three Ways to Avoid Surprises When You Organize an Event

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Organizing events is complex and inherently risky but most unpleasant surprises can be anticipated and avoided. With experience most people can see where things are likely to go wrong, but there are also three techniques that make this easier:

1. SEE IT FOR YOURSELF. People who work in hotels, conference centers and other venues are probably not going to lie to you deliberately, but when you ask if they have something their answer might be inaccurate simply because they don't remember and don't check. The only way to be sure is to check for yourself or send someone who you trust to do this reconnaissance for you. Want to know if there is easy parking? Go look. Want to know if there is cell phone coverage in a basement room  Go try for yourself. Want to know if there is a projection screen? Go look, and try the button that makes the screen come down to make sure it does.

2. TALK TO THE PEOPLE WHO DO THINGS. Very often you will be talking to a representative who should pass on yo…

Five Reasons Why Turning Off The Internet is a Bad Idea: Practical Advice for Busy Dictators

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According to news reports Syrian President Bashar al Assad has apparently unplugged his country from The Internet. If you are a desperate despot I can see why you might be tempted to reach for that OFF switch when you get a few dislikes on Facebook. But as a communication consultant I don't recommend this for five reasons.
1. MORE NEGATIVE PRESS.  Turning off The Internet gets you some seriously bad press. I don't recall anyone ever writing a neutral-to-positive piece about this. You are probably getting some negative coverage anyway for other unpleasant things, but you don't mess with The Internet and get away with it.
2. DRIVES ANGER TO THE STREETS. Turning off The Internet can have the entirely unintended effect of encouraging more direct action. People are still angry and maybe they were venting their anger online, posting negative content on social media. Without this outlet they have little choice but to turn off the computer, hit the streets and throw hard, heavy stu…