Breaking Bad Vol 1

So, I’m on the slate for an exciting line up of speakers to discuss public sector marketing.  I attended this conference last year and have now ended up on the roster as a speaker.  I have sat through sessions at conferences before and rarely do they resonate with me as a professional more than ‘this is the ultimate goal’ where do i actually start. I felt I’d share some of my own experiences in trying to help the organizations I’ve worked for recover from disastrous situations.

Over the weeks ahead I’m going to tease out the presentation here to help shape my ideas and thoughts but if you have anything you think might be of value – please do feel free to share your ideas with me.  session titled – Non-Profit Disaster Communications Recovery: the real Breaking Bad. That is my attempt at contemporary relevance. Yeah, I get it. the show is over, but its not ‘that’ over.
breakingbadAnd it works for me. This idea of ‘breaking bad’ – habits, people, processes, whatever the case is. If you’ve entered into some bad communications situations, and I know you have, the first thing you have to do is stop the madness (all credit to Susan Powter)


I’ve had a few interesting positions that have helped me focus on the task at hand.  I was hired into a situation once where within about 20 mins on the job I knew I had to fire the only employee I had.  Another situation found me with a self-professed megalomaniac narcissist president who demanded to be on the front page every day. I was the 6th Director of Communications at that organization in a 6 year span.

I went into a situation where the CEO (to whom I reported) on my first day on the job told me he expected me to ‘raise the bar’ – but never defined for me in the 2 years I worked there what the ‘bar’ looked like, where it was kept or how I’d know it if I found it.  I’ve walked into organizations with no budgets, no staff, no processes and in my time, come out on the other side pretty well.  It takes a lot of courage, persistence, vision and sometimes a methlab. (see, there’s the Breaking Bad reference coming at ya…)

The reality is that we find ourselves in these situations from time to time, but in my experience in the public sector has found me in some pretty deep messes. The most difficult thing is to rebuild a department while meeting the expectations of your new employer to ‘exceed’ expectations.


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