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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nobody Has Time For Your Nonsense

I’ve heard a lot of excuses for bad communication in my life. (Branding, communication, public relations, marketing….call it what you want, it all comes down to the same thing.)

The bottom line is this. If you’re paying another human being, or a group of human beings, to make words and pictures and moving digital things on your behalf — to make you look good — then it does not behoove you to dismiss the expertise of those very people. 

Because the people out there, you know, the great unwashed masses, they don’t care about your excuses or why you couldn’t get past yourself to do the right thing.

And when it comes to communication, that thing is always to express the totality of the organization. 

The good, the bad, and the ugly, from the fun and fluffy ribbon-cuttings to the boring, incomprehensible financial disclosures.

So if you are saying any of the following things to your communicators, either expressly or implicitly, you might want to reconsider the utility to your organization (e.g., is it worth it). 

Because the bottom line is — nobody wants to hear it.

Category I. Denial (a.k.a. “Nothing To See Here, Let’s Move On”)
  • “Historically we’ve never done things that way.”
  • “Communication doesn’t deal with policy or legal matters. ”
  • “We don’t need social media in our news clips. Nobody reads Twitter and Facebook.”
  • “Don’t you think you’re being a bit melodramatic?”
  • “Why do we have to talk about this if nobody asked?”
Category II. Stall For Time 
  • “Why don’t you ask X for permission and tell me what they say?”
  • “Our partners have to agree to that first.”
  • “Above my pay grade.”
  • “I don’t know who’s in charge of making that decision.”
  • “Would never get past the lawyers.”
Category III. Blame Lack of Resources
  • “Can’t afford it.”
  • “Don’t have time.”
  • “We already have a strategy.”
Category IV: Invoke Superiority
  • “I’m the expert. I don’t need you to tell me how to communicate.”
  • “Our stakeholders have their own way of thinking about things.”
  • “Why on earth would we ever say bad things about ourselves?”
  • “That’s not what communication is.”
  • “That’s an oversimplification.”
Category V: Attack The Communicator
  • “You have no business writing up that kind of concept and submitting it.”
  • “You do realize this is the government, right?”
  • “You do realize we’re a private company, right? Why do I want to promote the ideas of other people?”
  • “Why don’t you work on your Microsoft Word skills first?”
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Posted on July 25, 2017 by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions are the author’s own. This blog is hereby released into the public domain. Public domain photo by annca via Pixabay.