What I've Learned in Corporate Communications - The (Dreaded) Company Timeline

Three times in my previous career leading marketing communications departments, my team was tasked with creating a visual company timeline. For those not familiar with a timeline, it's used to illustrate in a linear fashion how far the organization has come and what it has accomplished via key milestones.

Done right, timelines communicate growth and momentum and are used to commemorate anniversaries, in presentations for investment capital and included in annual reports. Milestones could include launch date, first major client win, 100th employee, major product launches, etc.

So back to my experience - creating a company timeline from scratch makes me go into “deer in headlights” mode. Few organizations have on-staff historians to track major milestones. This means a lucky marketing person or two gets to run around and glean what happened and when with the people who were there. Usually this entails trying to get time with the founders/execs who would look at you blankly wondering why you were wasting their time and yours asking about something that happened X number of years ago. All of you corporate communications people are nodding your heads vigorously! 

So why am I writing about this? Having recently launched Hair Fairy, I’ve been celebrating key “firsts”. And just as important to me is all of the “firsts” that happened before our launch date. Starting Hair Fairy has been a steep learning curve because manufacturing, importing and retailing is all new to me. Knowing what it took to get to the point of transacting and hearing from happy customers makes the “before launch” milestones just as important as the “after launch” ones.

So here it is. The first Hair Fairy timeline. In Powerpoint of course. And because I’m in this for the long haul, I’ll keep adding to it. In a year a year (or five) I’ll look back and celebrate how far we’ve come.

1 comment

Oct 18, 2014

You go, kid!! This timeline is going to be long and impressive.

Dick Linford

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