Here at EC-PR our guiding principle is to help you communicate with conviction. We want you to share those firmly held beliefs or opinions courageously, even in the face of contrary opinion.
But how do you do that? Communicating with conviction is about saying something because: you believe it to be true, you care about how you express your opinions and you want to make a difference, in equal measures.
Tell the truth 80% of the time
Usually, we’re told to tell the truth all of the time but let’s get real here, you can’t always. And, that’s not because you actively want to be dishonest, but because you don’t always have all of the facts. So, we recommend that you are 100% truthful, but recognise that in reality, you can only do that 80% of the time. This is because for 80% of the time you will be in command of all the facts. You will be in a position to talk about what you have achieved together with the ‘how and why’ it is important to your community. 80% of the time you have no excuse for being dull and boring and, should therefore be inspiring, provocative and engaging. If you can’t think of something interesting to say – engage someone who can because without a shadow of a doubt there isn’t a business without a story – businesses don’t survive without a kernel of an idea. When they forget or fail to evolve that idea, that’s when they start to falter.
So, what about that remaining 20%? In an unfolding crisis you’re not in command of all of the facts or, in the case of business closures or redundancies, the facts are uncomfortable to talk about. In either scenario, your focus must be on what you do know and what can be done to help achieve the best outcome and why. Your focus will not be on scratching at the scab of corporate incompetence (your own or someone else’s) or the fear and indignity experienced by those being most hurt by the crisis. Therefore, it’s important to remain honest and truthful to your core values, but recognise that 100% transparency isn’t possible in evolving situations. You have to do the best you can with the information you have in the situation you’re in.
Saint or Spinner
The PR industry is renowned for ‘spin’ which implies the use of disingenuous, deceptive and highly manipulative tactics to alter the facts and change opinion. I find the word ‘spin’ repugnant. The implicit absence of truth and decency not only suggests a lack of respect for the people you want to engage with, but denigrates their intelligence. People are smarter than they’re often given credit for. So, let’s cut the spin.
Language is powerful, both verbal and non-verbal. Your choice of adjectives can turn someone on or off. Your body language can be offensive or not engaging simply because your smile doesn’t quite reach your eyes or appears to have turned into a sneer.
This is where professional communicators, people like us, can help – we take the facts and create pieces of communication which accurately reflect the intelligence, passion and spirit of what you are trying to achieve. Not only that, we’ll show you how to engage confidently with the media. Let us help you express your opinion so that it is credible and convincing, no spin required.
People are impressed by BIG ideas
It’s human nature that we want to be part of something that is bigger than ourselves – to be involved in something that we couldn’t possibly hope to achieve on our own. Think about sport, religion, politics. They offer a variety of clearly defined propositions based on a belief, behaviour and culture set. Each attracts a tribe. In every tribe there are leaders, there are participators, and perhaps the most important of all followers, those who advocate and support on behalf of the tribe. The number of followers determines the financial success of the tribe – so, inspiring and nurturing them is critical to success. Manchester City Football Club wouldn’t have a £108m transfer budget if it they didn’t have raving fans. It’s exactly the same in business. Your proposition, beliefs, and, most importantly, purpose need to be so clear that like-minded people gravitate towards it like a magnate and encourage their network to do likewise. Without this you cannot expect to achieve success nor can you expect your communication to be compelling in any consistent kind of way.
So let’s focus on the truth, ditch the spin and build a tribe of raving fans. Let’s put your business in the limelight for the right reasons. We can help your team communicate with conviction so your business can soar.