England’s National Trust recently declared Tuesday, October 17th as its "one day in history" day and invited Britons across the Realm to log onto History Matters.
Their assignment: to write a brief post reflecting the ways in which history affected them on that particular day in British history. So, if they walked past a historic site and were so moved, they would record the experience. If they spotted a Royal personage or matinee idol, they could report on that encounter as well. As long as it had something to do with "history," all posts were welcomed.
The National Trust’s goal is to capture and preserve for posterity a perfectly normal "day-in-the-life" of their historic land. The exercise was inspired by a similar undertaking in 1937 (I wonder how many Brits used blackberries back then to record their experiences?). And, the blog posts will be permanently housed in the British Library.
I love all things historic and salute our Allies for this wickedly cool idea. But, it also got me thinking.
Organizations of all types are always trying to figure out new ways to differentiate themselves from the competition while attracting and retaining the very best talent.
Imagine how cool it would be to provide prospective clients and employees with an honest, unvarnished look at a "day-in-the-life" of the organization? (Obviously, it would have to be an unvarnished, unedited blog to have any credibility with readers).
A typical "day-in-the-life" blog from Peppercom might include posts by our Office Manager Lee Stechmann, warning the guys that they needed to take better care of the men’s room. It might also include a blog from Receptionist Kelly Walton, asking who had ordered the turkey and rye sandwich that had just been deposited on her desk. We’d also be likely to see a note from Debbie Spalding, our CFO, who would once again be warning employees they’d have no computer access if she didn’t receive their timesheets pronto. And, of course, there’d have to be a highly-spirited back-and-forth dialogue between my partner, Ed and I about the virtues of our respective alma maters.
I think a periodic day-in-the-life blog would be a smart and strategic addition to any organization’s website, marketing and human resources program. Now, watch me suggest it at the next management meeting and see it get shot down for some perfectly logical reason I’m not thinking of.