Well … it seems if you can keep a calm head while all those about you are losing theirs, you are almost certainly not queuing up to buy petrol…
The reports presented to us in all forms of the media over the last week have been at best laughable and, at their worst, as we have seen, tragic. The time lost and inconvenience experienced by many people just repeatedly topping up their tank when they didn’t really need to, was probably much greater than if they had actually run out of petrol.
One of my Minions, not exactly renowned for keeping up with current affairs, pulled into his local petrol station to fill up as usual last Thursday morning only to find 40 other motorists in front of him, when normally the only company he has at that ungodly hour is the occasional discarded Mars Bar wrapper.
Obviously he mentioned this when he arrived at HQ, along with the news that one of the motorists in front of him filled up with just £8.62 of petrol – and in the days when it would seemingly be cheaper to post your car to any given destination than drive it there, you have to really wonder about the thought processes behind that kind of decision.
At the root of it all lies the often huge gap between the perceived size of the problem and the real size of the problem. I’m sure news reports liberally seeded with words like ‘standstill’ and ‘stranded’ did as much damage to peoples common sense as any ‘advice’ from more official sources (After all, we always do what MPs tell us to do the rest of the time don’t we?)
This kind of sensationalist clap-trap is something we’re very fond of in this industry too – if you’ve been online for any more than a few days you will have seen a headline about something or other ‘changing the face of the internet forever’. Now, whilst it is true that the internet is evolving on an almost daily basis, the amount of things that have changed it overnight have been minimal.
Changes to Facebook are only important to you if you actually use it to generate leads or revenue, as are changes to Google Ads and the like.
As for the emails you get declaring that you need to be part of this amazing new ‘something’ or get left behind forever may be perfectly valid … but I always would advise due diligence on your part to see if it is actually of use to you, rather than jumping in with both feet based on how much something is in the news rather than its business value.
Until Next Time,