As I waited in the shadows for two guys, a truck and a tree, I saw her. Unbeknown to the stress her visit caused my 9.5 hour day, she glanced up from her phone as she took a few more steps toward me. As the tree was lowered to the ground from the truck tray, she passed me. No acknowledgment – and none expected. As she wandered on up the hill, the two guys adjusted the tree into place. Five lowly minutes – in the end that’s all it was. Today was one of my more stressful days. It started off well, a final briefing meeting and a few deliveries — what could go wrong? Little did i know a lot could in the 24 hours prior to launch event #1 of one of the largest investments of infrastructure in the university’s history. From a tree not fitting on a truck, plastic ‘pledge’ tags slipping under a hole punch, tshirts seemingly vanishing and a last minute visit from Michelle Bridges, it was an odd day. But a few hours on, I can stop and look back. We can draw attention to anything: a centre, a person, a partnership or a product. We work long hours when a tree doesn’t fit on a truck, we run to newsagencies for white cardboard when you can’t print a pledge card for a VIP and you indian give t shirts to your colleagues so people you don’t know can feel important on their special day. No, we’re not the guys up on stage, but we sure help those guys look good. Marketing is the activity that happens in the shadows.   Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
It was more like a passionate, endearing teacher at the dress rehearsal than Miranda Priestly in Devil wears Prada. A teacher who has promised the showstopper of the year, but the night before the curtains rise, the leads are still learning their lines, the sets come in too early and the musicians too late. But today, sitting around a square table in meeting room 2 it happened. The hands hit the table and all discussions stopped. “Everyone – I can not believe this! We are two weeks away — two weeks! Everyone is watching us, waiting for us to deliver and we still don’t even have invitations out! I know you are all working hard, but I need you to work harder. I need to be able to sleep at night knowing that we are going to deliver. I know it will be great, but we’re just not there yet. I don’t want to get grumpy, and i’m not.  But we all just need to get moving.” And then her usual warm tone returned and it was over. But the feeling of a scared school girl remained. I looked around the meeting room and like me, none of my colleagues knew what to say, but I knew we were all thinking the same thing – we need to pick up our socks because we don’t want to disappoint her. 5 May update: Today she brought in a homemade apple cinnamon tea cake. “I was feeling guilty.” Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)