The internet has been flooded with tweets, posts, freakish images (both real and fake), and storm advisories since the weekend. When news first broke of the impending hurricane Sandy and her dead-on trajectory towards the Eastern Seaboard, some went into full panic mode while others waited before sounding the alarms.
By Sunday night – it was evident Sandy wasn’t kidding around and delivering anything but treats this Halloween.
As millions are now in the dark and enduring what may be the worst storm to hit NYC in years – we thought we would look at an important lesson in preparedness that’s been repeated by every Mayor, Governor, President and Rescue Personnel and relate it to how every founder should prepare for an impending product launch.
1. Stock up on emergency supplies
The key to surviving any impending disaster is to always have your emergency supplies stocked and ready if needed. The same principal applies to your media assets. If you’re gearing up for a huge product launch or media announcement, always make sure that you have the key assets in your media kit updated and accounted for, including; media release, founder bios, and images & screen captures.
2. Know your emergency contacts
When disaster strikes, you need to know who to call. Similarly in a product launch, you need to know the right people to reach out to, to secure great media coverage. Just as you’d call a neighbour to help remove fallen debris from your car or entrance – always have a good (ongoing) relationship with writers or influencers with whom you can ask to cover your launch or give your product a good endorsement.
3. Always have extra fuel and your generator ready
One of the most troublesome aspects of any great storm is the resulting widespread power outages that can last for days or even weeks. This can lead to not only the inability to stay in contact with the world and/or breaking news or weather warnings but it can mean the loss of fridge food or frozen goods – including running out of water. Much like your generator should be ready – your product should be too. Make sure that all bugs have been fixed and everything is running smoothly before introducing it to the world.
When the power goes out, your flashlight (or these days your ipad or iphone) will be your key to seeing in the dark and shining a spotlight where it’s needed. When you execute a product launch, you need to be ready to be in the spotlight! Be ready for media interviews and ensure that you have a wide availability to take calls or inquiries from the press looking for a one-on-one with the CEO.
5. Be prepared for flooding
The internet mourned the loss of the historical Atlantic City Boardwalk Monday night as images of the wooden planks floating down city streets circulated on Twitter. Officials say one of the biggest dangers and potential destructors in Sandy’s wrath will be the flood waters. When your product launches, you should always be ready for the influx of users who will be downloading your new product. Make sure that your server and team are ready for sign-up numbers larger than those predicted – just incase.
6. Be prepared to evacuate – know your plan
When the time comes to evacuate in any natural disaster or emergency situation, it is always alarming how many don’t know where to go or how to react but knowing your emergency evacuation route can be key to your survival. Similarly, your support team are your emergency plan if your product encounters any issues following the launch. They should be on hand or on call 24/7 in the event something comes up post launch. With the spotlight on you now, you want to avoid public embarrassment and to be able to resolve issues right away.
7. Know your travel status
In the wake of Sandy, airlines were advising all travellers who planned on traveling through to October 31st to check their flight statuses before leaving for the airport and be prepared for delays and cancellations. The key message? Be flexible. The same principal applies leading up to your product launch. Anything can happen and the sooner you accept this, the better off you will be. If your ideal launch day is approaching and you know you aren’t ready, don’t be afraid to push it back. Do it right – no need to rush into it.
What are your product launch emergency preparedness tips?