Light. Run. Watch the Show.

Over the course of 364 days, I had forgotten how it feels to light off a firework. It had been so long since I’d seen a fuse ignite, crackle, and burn. I’d forgotten the strange combination of terror and excitement that comes out, in my case, as nervous laughter and giggling. I definitely forgot that as soon as the fuse ignites, your body takes over and screams, “Flee! Now!”, regardless of how ridiculous you look running from a tiny paper hen firework laying small, colorful eggs.

We cheered while the little hen laid three fireball eggs and even let out a chicken-like squawk at the end of her labors. What a show.

There are points in life that feel more like instinct than learned action. Instinct tells me to run after lighting a rocket. Learned action tells me to keep the bucket of water nearby.

Now, reflecting on the balance of instinct and learned action, I realize there are connections to what we do every day at AE2S Communications. Our team creates products, concepts, and ideas that connect and deliver information to people. Some of those connections are through instincts and others are through learned actions. Our job is to truly understand people, places, and things so we have a better idea of the instincts and actions that drive stakeholders.

One project we recently worked on was promoting “Infant Friendly” workplaces with the Fargo Cass Public Health Department. We focused on creating a campaign that guided employers and employees in adopting learned activities to support new mothers. We learned about what new mothers valued and how their employers could support them as mothers, employees, or customers. Check out some of the materials and website components we produced last year.

Another project we are collaborating on is the FM Area Diversion Project. This large flood-protection project is a layered and complex effort by multiple entities including cities, counties, two states, and the federal government. With the sheer size of this project and the number of people it protects, there is a depth of information that’s difficult to communicate concisely. It is interesting to contemplate the mental point where instinct and learned behavior meet. Is it instinct to ask questions, or a learned behavior? Is trusting someone, or an entity, instinct or learned? Maybe it’s both. Either way, one of the key methods we have been working on to provide stakeholders with accurate information about the project is through video. Hearing various community leaders talk about their personal experiences and reasons they work on the project has been a great way to meet people in an instinctual and educational way.

Regardless of what type of project we are working on, one of the best parts is seeing our work have an impact. Hearing that more businesses are becoming Infant Friendly worksites or that more people understand the FM Area Diversion Project is like enjoying a beautiful fireworks show on a perfect evening – and not having to use the emergency bucket of water.