Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Nice Storm

If you talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk. That’s something every entrepreneur learns (some sooner than others). If your brand message doesn't reflect your brand, you will be caught out.

Go to www.TheNiceAgency.com and meet Toronto-based interactive marketing agency Henderson Bas. Maybe they're nice to their clients (surely that’s the easy part), but even nice agencies have bad days.

In an email from last month that is now flying through the blogosphere, agency president Dawna Henderson snarls at certain staff members for not properly organizing a company-wide cleaning event, and drafts her own office-cleaning chain gang. Here are some of her rules:

"Because the assigned team failed to coordinate this month's Round Up - and we don't want to waste the time that has been allocated - everyone will be required to participate in henderson bas spring cleaning.

“Beginning at 4pm, each of you will be responsible for cleaning your individual pod (just not moving stuff around) and making sure the area around your desk is neat & tidy. Once your area is perfectly clean and organized, you will each be required to participate in office cleaning. Tech and creative will be responsible for the kitchen which includes the fridge and above the sink cupboards. The PMs and AMs will be responsible for cleaning the down stairs coat closet and making sure every single screen & keyboard in the building is cleaned. ”

"Once you are finished cleaning your pod and assigned areas, please come and find me as I would like to make sure the office is cleaned to my standards.

"If anyone has any problems with this, please be sure to thank this month's Round Up team. Do not come and whine to me.”

Oh, and don't forget this rule: “No one can leave until the offices are clean.”


Blogger Joe Thornley of Ottawa-based PR agency Thornley Fallis makes this observation apropos of Henderson Bas:

“Think before you hit the send button.

“When angry, breathe deep, save a draft. Go look in the mirror. Then come back, read the email and ask yourself if you recognize the person who wrote this.”

Good advice. The brand you save may be your own.

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