Tag Archives: communication

Mar 21, 2012

Transparency and Honesty – What Can It Buy You?

Honesty and transparency can sometimes cause a company headaches. Never let them see you sweat, right? Everything’s OK, nothing to see here… until the doors close. However, being up front with people can also buy you a new lease on life.

Read Carol Roth’s blog post about a pizza business in dire straits, the brutally honest email he sent to everyone on his email list, and the surprising reaction.

Note that he had PR people trying to talk him out of sending this email. They felt a crisis would ensue. Would this publicity crisis been any worse than the financial crisis he was facing? Another thing to consider here is that a similarly revealing email written in a more negative tone would have been a total flop. Had he adopted a “woe is me” attitude, his message would not have resonated, and would have likely alienated everyone. This is not to say that he wasn’t feeling negative at the time. Of course he was! He was about to close his business and put a bunch of people out of work. But he put on his brave pants and wrote a heartfelt message in an honest, humble tone, and the email’s recipients were able to wade through his words and understand what was at stake.

I am a huge fan of such communication.

Mar 19, 2012

When Have You Reached Your Communication Objectives?

Answer? When you’ve said enough.

I’ve always thought this video was pure genius – a perfect example of how differently these two companies think. One has an incredibly strong brand and trusts its customers. The other… well, just watch the video.

You might argue that the piece, while humorous, is unfair to Microsoft. Interestingly enough, they created the video! It’s now over six years old, and by my estimation, not much has changed. Microsoft continues to make profits and muddle along (R.I.P. Zune), while Apple holds news conferences to announce what they’re going to do with their $100 billion in cash.

I try to think more like Apple, not because I love Apple or think that Apple is always right, but because I believe in the way they communicate (not withstanding their absence on social media). You are buying something for yourself when you adhere to brevity: the attention spans of others. Say what needs to be said, and nothing more. Allow the customer to insert themselves into your brand’s story, and you give yourself the best chance of them inserting your brand into their lives. Let the human imagination take over. I am trying.