Hurricane Katrina alerts us to just such hypotheses. In a few hours, US citizens and industry lost its relationships with hundreds of relatives, friends, customers, suppliers and workers.
The systems for managing the economies of Louisiana, Mississippi and other states devastated by flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, were suddenly of no value and people and industry's knowledge of the region is now all wrong. Indeed all was lost - everything that they depend on for social interaction and regional trade ceased to exist. The nature of relationships has also changed. While many assets are in a parlous state, there is no hope of revival until a new set of relationships are created. What is so telling and is so relevant to the Relationship Value Model, is how in a network and across communications channels, the construction of relationships to cope with a disaster come to the fore. To see this at work, one only needs to see Josh Britton's work.
The human tragedy is at its most dire when relationships have been severed and the need for new networks with effective communications channels to be created to re-establish, create and sustain relationships. Needs (tokens) have to be identified and their value established to be appropriate to the many displaced and affected people and businesses. Without relationships the economic impact is huge as Barry Wood reports (picture)
Evidence of how networks and communications channels are used to create relationships are found across the net as Steve Rubel's blog shows.
Much less extreme examples are every day occurrences for some organisations. In
some instances the loss is not total but by degree but the stark reality of Katrina focuses our attention on the value of relationships and alerts us to the need to protect and manage them effectively. Today, the devastated area needs the relationship management skills of public relations to help re-build and bring a re-birth to the region. Relationship value really counts in to mitigate this tragedy.