Last week, I wrote a couple of posts about the importance of honesty and integrity in communications and keeping everything in the proper perspective. These are values being discussed an awful lot today, with everything happening in Washington (I’ve discussed this in those other posts). But I think they are values that also translate more than we might realize to professional business communications, especially in the B2B realm.
First, I think perspective is an important aspect of accuracy – one of the central ethical tenets of good communication. Take the Sean Spicer inauguration crowd fiasco as an example: without context or documentation, he may have been able to legitimately argue that attendance on the National Mall was the best ever for an inauguration. With some context, however, the argument fell flat. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a corporate earnings report, or a blog post about a community event, or a speech at a major trade show; when we’re able to substantiate our statements with perspective, we validate them more. We prove their accuracy, and their value. And that’s always a good step in the right direction toward earning stakeholder trust and loyalty.
Second, it’s fascinating to me how unearthing the facts of a situation and presenting them in proper context can often be the ultimate way to achieve competitive differentiation. Many Game Changer clients are high-tech and B2B companies, and it’s pretty common practice for them to focus on how their product/service is the best performing, most durable, most cost-efficient solution to a buyer’s problem. The metrics and value propositions are usually the same from vendor to vendor, because it’s been established that those items are the key factors in a buyer’s decision process. As a result, our messaging tends to fall in line. But the issue with this kind of messaging is that it sounds and plays just like everything else; if all of the competitors in a category say the same basic things, then how in the world are we to distinguish between them? Worst yet, if everyone’s saying the same things all the time, then eventually it starts to come across as noise and the audience starts to tune out and lose interest. It all comes down to finding the unique story behind what you’re doing, and bringing that to life in the proper light. Adding that level of perspective really resonates with target audiences and drives success. So that’s what I’m always looking for in my interactions with clients, and what I’m constantly building into the message platforms we craft.
Communicating with perspective isn’t just best practice, or ethical, or right: it’s good business too. I’ll continue to work with those I interact with to bring these considerations into play and lead by example.