The house was set on fire on purpose. Legally. By firemen.
You may be wondering why firemen would actually set fire to a house, knowing they would then have to simply put it out.
What’s happening is a rarely witnessed firemen training exercise where a building scheduled for demolition will be set on fire so firemen trainees can practice extinguishing techniques.
When was the last time you set your blog on fire to make sure you still knew how to put it out? Is there any benefit to causing a ruckus just to turn around and stifle it?
I don’t mean to alarm you, but I know your future. If you stay in this game long enough, you’re going to have a crisis situation. No doubt about it. There’s a reason that every marketing and writing book in history has a chapter dedicated crisis communication.
The only thing you can control is how prepared you are for the inevitable or how much you’re going to suck at it when one surprises you.
So what’s the best way to put out a fire? Well, it’s not sitting around hoping nothing catches on fire. Sometimes the only way to know how hot a flame burns is to reach out and feel the flame.
Just a note: I am NOT advocating that you go out and intentionally pull a Chrysler and curse about Detroit or a GoDaddy and kill large mammals. If you’ll notice in the firemen example above, they aren’t setting fires to homes people are still living in.
How To Set A FIRE
You want to test your skills and spread some flames, but you also want to make sure you’re in a controlled environment like the firemen test fire. Here’s a simple way to go about preparing yourself to set a FIRE:
Focused – When you set out to ignite some passions in people, work to understand the exact reactions and responses you’re aiming for. When the fire department sets up a test blaze, they make sure the house is secure, the surroundings are clear and they actually prepare the house beforehand so it can’t get out of control. Set out so rulle some feathers, but know exactly what kinds of responses you’re testing yourself for.
Indomitable – Never back down from posting an idea just because “it might make some people mad.” Your boogeyman post may just be the one that sets your voice higher than the rest. Your social media presence should be all you and posting polarizing thoughts and ideas will only weed out your transient readers and bring your loyal followers even closer into your camp. There’s nothing better when starting a fire than loving and controlling the flame.
Resilient – Things are going to get hot in the kitchen, especially when the whole house is on fire. Don’t run. One of the best skills you can teach yourself in an exercise like this is how to maintain composure and accuracy in a fast moving fire or crisis. Go back to step one and remember your purpose and message. Learn to think on your feet, especially in today’s NOW revolution environment, that will be a vital skill to have.
Exciting – Content is King and fires are exciting. Make sure whatever you decide to do to test yourself that you draw some attention. Make it exciting. Find a article you disagree with and write a scathing, yet poignant rebuttal, disagree with Chris Brogan about something (that you actually disagree with), write about a huge issue with your own take on it that may be against the grain. Setting fire to a candle may cause a flame, but it won’t grab you attention. Stand firm in your beliefs and feelings and go big or go home.
Follow the firemen’s example. Don’t do this every time you leave the station.
Every now and then test and train yourself in some of these techniques just like a PR department re-reads its crisis communication plan. Don’t change who you are or your information, but don’t be afraid to be totally candid sometimes. Those can be great opportunities to test your fire extinguishing skills.
That way, when something unexpected happens, you’ll know the exact path to escape unscathed.
Do you have a plan in place in case something unexpected happens? Have you tested your skills to see how you’ll react in those situations? Have you seen people who crumble under the pressure and should have started more FIREs?