This morning most of us woke upto receiving updates on Hurricane
Isaac which has been on a similar path to Hurricane Katrina that slammed
the Gulf Coast seven years ago today. Isaac made land-fall last night
as a Category 1 storm and is now forcasted to continue dumping heavy
rains today and Thursday as it stalls over the area with 80
mile-per-hour winds and causing widespread flooding in New Orleans and
other coastal cities.
Issac is by no means as devastating as Katrina, but it still has
already caused many power-outages and flooding with reports of people
stranded in the homes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people in
New Orleans and the Louisiana coast today. These people have endured
much and appear to be so resilient.
I have recently had the pleasure of with working with new clients from a restaurant company headquartered in New Orleans, Zea Rotisserie & Grill.
They offer a casual dining experience with a southern-inspired menu and
have 11 locations, most in Louisiana and a couple in Alabama. They
contacted us earlier this year to inquire about us assisting them in
running a local sweepstakes promotion on their Facebook page. Their goal was increasing their fan base and building their database.
The Zea Rotisserie & Grill Taste Buds Cruise Sweepstakes launched on July 23 and
will be ending this Friday, August 31. I will draw one grand prize
winner next week from all those that entered who will be offered a spot
for themselves and a guest aboard a Caribbean Food Cruise.
The prize consists of a 7-night cruise on board the Holland America
Line's luxury ship Nieuw Amsterdam that will depart from Ft. Lauderdale,
FL, on March 10, 2013. It also includes two cooking demonstrations on
board the ship with Zea chef Greg Reggio, a wine tasting event hosted by
the ship's cellar master, a bon voyage cocktail party with open bar and
hors d'oeuvres, and a Pinnacle Grill gourmet steakhouse dining
experience. So this is a really nice prize package that someone just
couldn't purchase on their own. It's a great example of a prize that
helps to build a brand while also being relevant to the audience.
The client contacted me earlier this week and just wanted to touch
base because they feared that they may be without power this week as a
result of the storm and wanted to make sure I would be available to draw
the winner. Luckily since the sweepstakes is hosted via an app on
Facebook they don't have to be concerned about it going offline.
However, if they don't have power they most likely won't be able to
promote it to get those last minute entries (unless they're using a
smart phone). But it may just be in bad taste if they did since some
local fans probably won't have power as well it.
I visited the Zea Rotisserie & Grill Facebook page
this morning and their last couple of posts were from Monday which said
that they were planning to close their New Orleans locations on Tuesday
and tentatively reopen Wednesday evening if weather permits. They
received several likes from their posts, but to my surprise there were
some negative comments. A few fans commented that they should close in
order to give their employees time off to prepare for the storm and be
with family after it hits. Zea promptly commented back and thanked them
for their concerns and noted that they have a detailed hurricane plan
and would not by any means put their employees in harms way. They noted
that they are closing Tuesday so that they can all prepare and hope to
reopen Wednesday evening conditions permitting.
I thought they handled the comments well. What do think? I don't know
if I was in ZEA's place if I could have foreseen that the posts would
get that kind of negative response. I guess you really never know what
type of comments you will receive. One negative comment sometimes
encourages others. So it is very important to handle these these types
of comments just as Zea did which was promptly, politely and positively.
The good news is that we'll soon have two lucky people from the gulf coast region packing their bags to sail away in March.
May all of those in the area hit by Issac stay safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.