What do you do when life throws you an unexpected curve ball?
Almost without exception, every one of us has been pitched that unforeseen challenge during the past two years in the form of a worldwide pandemic. Aside from its impact on a personal health level, businesses have been affected in a manner few could have anticipated or planned for strategically.
Those of us who work in the PR world are conditioned to plan and prepare for the unexpected and for worse case scenarios. When I worked for the NFL, no stone was left unturned when it came to considering what might lie ahead. If you watch the Commissioner answer questions during his annual state of the union address during Super Bowl week, you should appreciate that he has been prepped by his trusted advisors and PR staff regarding every possible question he might need to field. And I mean every possible question. It’s rare that a journalist might pitch him a curve ball he isn’t ready to hit beyond the bases (OK, enough with the baseball references).
That said, I’ll argue that virtually nobody had a PR contingency plan in place for a pandemic that began to wreak havoc in March of 2020. We were literally just launching on Indiegogo as Covid-19 forced people indoors and to don masks when or if they were permitted to mix with family, friends, and colleagues.
(Hats off at this point to the exception to the rule, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, who for the past 17 years invested in insurance that would pay out if they were forced to postpone or cancel the legendary annual Wimbledon grand slam tennis event. They were, they did, and they collected.)
Promising delivery of Snorble® in October when we had launched our backers’ campaign eight months earlier was achievable at the time, given the progress that had already been made in the stages of development. The Snorble prototype was already in our hands, as seen in the video that introduced Snorble through Indiegogo.
But we had to adjust and revise our timelines due to microchip shortages and a shipping crisis, which delayed the delivery of Snorble to expectant homes. Some companies might pass on that information and then move on, but because we care about the backers who have helped us along this journey, we felt we should come up with a gift for the holidays to say “Thank you.” You can call that smart PR, or you can appreciate that our CEO, Mike Rizkalla, simply wanted to do something nice at a special time of the year.
Snorble won’t be shipping until after the holidays, with June being our revised delivery date, so our team brainstormed and agreed upon a small appreciation for our backers’ continued support. This gift from Lullaboo – the magical land where Snorble and friends live - is being packaged up and shipped out as we speak. Even in this instance, we had to battle against some shipping obstacles to make this happen!
Mike and his family spent their weekend putting together special Snorble-related holiday packages, and while we don’t want to spoil the surprise, there are a few hints in these photos as to what is on its way to our backers for families and children to enjoy.
Now, all the preparation in the world for worst case scenarios won’t be of any use if we don’t get these gifts in the mail soon, so I’m off to the post office to start licking stamps.
Snorble Head of PR