Encouraging your employees to come to work during a category 4 hurricane didn’t prove to be the best PR decision for a Gulf Coast agency. The CEO of PostcardMania, a 300-plus-employee marketing company based in Clearwater, Florida, encouraged its employees to come to work during Hurricane Ian, before finally reversing course and shutting down the business.
Jonah Furman of Labor Notes tweeted out yesterday that on September 26, just a day and a half before Hurricane Ian hit the Florida coastline, a Zoom call with PoscardMania’s employees from founder and CEO Joy Lebowitz Gendusa. In a transcript of the call, Gendusa told employees that the company always prepares for a disaster but it’s usually a “nothing burger.” She said that the hurricane wouldn’t be that bad and “nothing is going to happen over there.”
Wild: Here are the CEO’s remarks on an staff call sent out with minutes from the meeting:Advertisement
“Anyway, bring your pets, bring your kids… Jason can start blowing up those air mattresses… Raise your hand if you’re scared of the hurricane. It’s really not going to be that scary.” https://t.co/EAKHUFcuf5 pic.twitter.com/bnDIKJPO66
— Jonah Furman (@JonahFurman) September 27, 2022
Vice reported that an automated text from PostcardMania to employees stated that “PCM was built to withstand Cat 5 winds. We would like to continue to service our National clients if we can. Bring your kids to work on Tues and Wed this week.”
By Tuesday afternoon, PostcardMania posted a note on its Instagram that it had finally called off its workforce and would close its office Wednesday and Thursday, even setting up its building as a hurricane shelter for staff, family, friends, children and pets.
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PostcardMania has not responded to Adweek’s request for comment. In an online chat Wednesday afternoon through the company’s website, AgencySpy asked if there was anyone in the office. An employee briefly stated that the office was closed and that its remote staff was handling customer communications safely away from the hurricane, though that short chat was immediately taken down.
Earlier this year PostcardMania was ranked as one of the Top 101 Tampa Bay Workplaces by the Tampa Bay Times for the 10th year in a row.