March 29, 2011 Leave a comment
Truth usually always prevails. What I mean by that is that eventually it gets discovered. If you are hiding something it will usually get found and you may not be around to manage the damage to your reputation.
What does that mean for anyone working in marketing, advertising or general communication? It means you should always be sure to represent what you are and what you can deliver. If you promise something you cannot deliver, the repercussions to your personal and corporate reputation will be diminished for a very long time. Therefore, first knowing your personal values is a great place to start when considering the topic of truth.
#1. Truth is often in the eye of the beholder.
I know I’m borrowing a popular phrase and then changing it for my own benefit but I am serious – truth does – in part – depend on each individuals own perspective, motivations and past experience.
Continuing along that vein are my three laws of a customer experience:
- Whatever your reader understands and interprets is reality (whether you meant it or not)
- Every interaction creates a personal reaction and will impact your personal brand and corporate brand
- People will instinctively think of themselves and their circumstances first
The lesson here is to listen well, be very clear with what you communicate and to be sure to verify a persons understanding. This will help ensure all parties fully appreciate the current situation.
#2. Truth changes through time.
What’s true today may not be true tomorrow. This may work in our favour – it may also work against us.
Example 1. At one point in time it took weeks – months event to cross from ‘the old country’ to the new world. Today, you can fly from Europe to America in hours.
The impact of this new truth is that in the last 50 years profitable industries have emerged for both business and leisure travel. Also, what was once a very segregated world is now very cross-cultural.
Example 2. Tobacco was fully acceptable – even a sign of being distinguished 40 years ago. Today there’s a very different social and health reaction to smoking. Can a company be responsible for side-effects they didn’t know? I will leave that to the lawyers – instead, I can’t help but dream about the lost opportunities had the tobacco industry transitioned their behaviour (and product), many years ago when the side-effects were becoming known.
Consider what their reputation and revenues might be today had they reinvested their great agriculture, manufacturing and distribution experience (and money), to explore new agriculture industries.
Let’s face it, truth is not always the easy way – but in the long run it’s the best way.
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www.brucemayhewconsulting.com I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.
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