By Rex Hammock, CEO

In the days after Hurricane Katrina, I was contacted by a friend in the magazine publishing field who was reaching out on behalf of a small publisher in New Orleans.

For the first time, the company’s five-person editorial and sales team was unable to gather at one location to work. Their office was under 5 feet of water, and employees had been forced to evacuate to other locations, some of which were hundreds of miles away.

Because Hammock has always utilized an online platform and approach that enables us to work with employees, independent creators and clients nationwide, we immediately set up a similar network for the New Orleans publisher. And without being asked, everyone on our staff volunteered to keep the magazine running and support its team members, allowing them to focus on their personal crises. And because their warehouse of past issues had been destroyed as well, we developed a CD of the magazine’s archive so that new subscribers could receive it as a premium.

In addition to helping them keep their magazine publishing on time, we developed friendships that endure to this day.

In many past issues of Idea Email, we’ve stressed the importance of recognizing that your organization’s content and media should be viewed as something more than a commodity— something more than a fill-in-the-blanks effort.

Nothing proves this more than what we’re witnessing now in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Companies that have spent years developing multiple channels of communication are discovering those channels can be adapted to help customers through challenges that they never imagined.

Harvey and Irma will teach thousands of company employees and customers that “content” can be much more than a blog post or tweet: Content is help. Content is creative problem solving. Content is a conversation that demonstrates if a company views marketing as a series of transactions or—as it should be—a lifetime relationship.

At its best, content is made up of the conversations your employees have each day with customers, the conversations that one day can mean the difference between life and death.

Photo: Department of Defense

About Hammock Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here . To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.