Altered Content

Add more science and less fiction to your communication

Space oddities

Unless you have been living under the mighty rock of ignorance, you would have caught the tireless barrage of news and content around artificial intelligence in real life, and science fiction on television. And if you’re Elon Musk you can merge the two together like it’s no big deal (Long live Starman!). This new era of attention grabbing headlines and creating differentiation often pushes marketers and communication professionals to blur the lines between facts and fiction. The desperation leads to an act of spin and any communicator worth her salt would tell you that it decidedly harms a brand (and the profession) in the long run.

For pros and brands who are in the wee years of their communication careers, here are three humble tips to help you maintain the sanctity of your message while attracting attention the right way-

Numbers are best served wholesome: The more quantified your success is, the easier it is for the journalist to present your story. And even if certain aspects of your business are not ideal, share them anyway. Like in life, half truths in communication are as bad as lies. An honest failure still makes a stronger story than a dishonest success. Trust the media to give you credit where it’s due but also to give you a chance to explain your failures, big or small.

Let your leaders be vulnerable: All successful relationships have one thing in common- our ability to be vulnerable in them. Trying to protect your spokesperson can only get you so far. Own your narrative and let your spokesperson face the heat. Prepare them well but stop hiding them from the supposed big bad world of journalism. Sending out cliché press releases (“Never-seen-before”) and mechanical email responses are especially irksome. A little extra tip- a good journalist will always know if the answers are coming from your leader or the freshly hired PR executive in the team.

Add more info to your graphics: Everyone loves a beautifully crafted infographic, what’s not to like about colorful figures that simplify numbers. But before you mass-shoot that email, make sure it gives a larger perspective. Not just about your brand but also industry or competition, with an extra dose of reliable sources that are well highlighted. Never underestimate the disaster potential of an unreferenced infographic.

In an increasingly cluttered mind and email space, its okay sometimes to keep your head down and work on creating something worth talking about. Credibility is the single most important agenda of a communication professional, and conscientiousness is the fastest route it. Keep your fiction out of your content and tell the story when there is one. In the meantime, entertain yourself with the visual of a mannequin floating in the space in a swanky red car. 

Performance, Leadership, Corporate, Advice

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