What Does the Superdome Blackout Have to do with Records Management?

If you were one of the over 110 million fans watching the Super Bowl, it was hard to miss the 34 minute blackout interrupting the 3rd quarter (and the Ravens’ momentum). As the most-watched television show in history, the stakes were never higher for a hiccup-free broadcast. However, in dramatic fashion, half of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome went dark while the nation watched. And, almost anticlimactically, this black-swan event is speculated to be “the result of improperly maintained equipment at the venue.”

Pay attention to detail

There is an important lesson to be learned here. Attention to detail, especially the proper upkeep and management of the mundane is critical to smooth operations. For government agencies and those in regulated fields like the financial industry, records management falls into this category. Records management is not a flashy part of an organization’s operations. Nevertheless, it remains a critical part of an organization’s ultimate success. Archiving records of social media and managing them can help both government agencies and financial firms avoid a public “blackout” like the Superdome experienced.

Avoiding a records management blackout

Like ensuring that the electrical equipment at the Superdome was functioning correctly, it is an agency’s and a firm’s responsibility to ensure that their records management strategy is fully compliant as well. Public records laws, including the Freedom of Information Act, Sunshine Laws, and state laws (kudos to Virginia) all require social media to be archived and preserved. The same goes for FINRA and SEC for firms in the financial industry. Ignoring or taking too lightly these requirements like the Superdome did with its equipment can result in a similar “blackout” for your organization. And although the audience will likely be smaller than the 110 million who witnessed the Superdome plunge into twilight, the complete avoidability of an organization’s “records-management blackout” will be the exact same. Pay attention to the details. Whether that means properly maintaining electrical equipment or your firm’s records, the mundane can keep you out of the dark.

What Does the Superdome Blackout Have to do with Records Management?