Tag Archives: trust
On Monday there were a couple of articles about how Twitter scooped the news media by almost half an hour with news of Whitney Houston’s death.
Does this really surprise anybody?
Those who Twitter (and I am one) don’t have to verify news before they release it. Someone with a large following could report a rumor and it could be read by hundreds of thousands before the news media has a chance to verify it.
As Winston Churchill said many years ago, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
Now I’m not saying that any of these tweets were lies — in fact, they were true. I’m pointing out that stories hit social media without any corroboration or fact-checking. That’s why it’s pretty easy for folks to scoop the news media. I’m willing to bet that the media had the story at the same time, but when through the rigors of actually verifying it before reporting the singer’s death because they have a responsibility to do that.
It’s called trust. If any credible major news outlet reported every rumor that was tweeted, it wouldn’t take long for most people to dismiss that outlet’s news reports. They would probably also go bankrupt with all the lawsuits.
Of course the tabloids do this all the time. They turn rumors into “news” and then have to retract it (usually well after the damage is done and in a much less well-read medium than the one used to set the story on fire). They also have massive legal teams.
So what does that mean to everybody else?
Think about your personal brand before you spread a rumor. Will this hurt it or help it? Are you willing to trade your reputation as valuable source of information for a lot of retweets? Will all those new followers continue to follow you once the truth comes out? Or will they feel that your lack of fact checking also cost them some credibility?
It’s great to scoop the media. But be responsible. Don’t spread it until you (or somebody you trust) verifies it.
Have you ever noticed that when you stop focusing on something, it comes to you? Give up on meeting that special person, and there he or she is. Give up on trying to solve a problem and the answer just comes to you. The list of examples goes on and on.
I’ve heard a lot of reasons why this phenomenon happens with such regularity. Some say it’s because you free yourself from trying to solve the problem with normal means. Some just say it’s the way the world works. Some say it’s the Law of Detachment (like the Law of Attraction, but more about not caring how it comes about), some say God works in mysterious ways.
For me this phenomenon shows up in copywriting and developing concepts almost every time. I go for a walk, grab some lunch, or even go to the bathroom and the idea hits. I attribute this to the first reason — the unrelated activity frees my mind from the normal constraints, and allows in some less-than-obvious ideas.
But what about the phenomenon that all of my single friends talk about — as soon as you stop looking for a romantic partner, one appears? This can’t be about freeing your mind to find loosely connected ideas.
I believe this has to do with letting go. You let go of micromanaging the outcome. You relax, you accept that maybe you’re alright with just being by yourself, and you stop trying to create impossibly stressful and unnatural ways to meet somebody. And when you’re relaxed and okay with being on your own, you’re more attractive. It creates an environment that is ideal for growing a relationship.
Interestingly, this is also how I’ve been able to get the best work from people. I give them the assignment, the creative brief, and trust them to do their best work. Often, I’ve been so surprised by the result that it took courage on my part to approve it. The work was so creative, so innovative that I would never have seen their solution as an option. It was breakthrough work — which in advertising and marketing is the Holy Grail.
When I have micromanaged or been micromanaged, the best result that anybody could create was a watered down version of the micromanager’s vision. Nobody was happy with it (unless they really had no idea of what constitutes good), and the experience of creating it was invariably awful.
My dad used to say that the key to great management is to set the course, then invite good people to exceed their own expectations. He said that they’ll always do a much better job than you would.
Set the course, do your work, and let go of how you expect it to look at the finish line. The results may just surprise you.
Branding, brand development, brand management, as well as just about every other brand-based phrase, have been overused for quite a few years now. Brand words are a favorite among ad agencies, marketing consultants, and design firms. Unfortunately, the pursuit of these buzz phrases have cost many companies millions of dollars thanks to misguided “branding initiatives” or “brand awareness” advertising.
It’s gotten to the point where a lot of executives are so sick of the word that they actually push aside anything called branding.
This is not a good thing. Your company has a market presence whether you like it or not, and whether you manage it or not. It’s not just your reputation, it’s also the first thing people think of – or better yet, feel – when they hear your name or see your logo. For the record, your brand is never just your logo or tagline, it’s the lump sum of every experience your customer has ever had with your company and its products or services, including those experiences shared by others.
So how do you manage your market presence?
The first thing you have to realize is that you can’t wake up one morning and decide to change it. You see, your customers own your market presence. Especially when you haven’t been caring for it diligently. So changing it dramatically would violate any trust you have built with your best customers. And even if you don’t mind losing all of your existing customers, your new audience would probably not believe that you’ve changed overnight.
Seizing control of your company’s market personality is more about knowing who you really are and exactly where you stand right now. Then you can build an accurate roadmap to where you want to be. In that way, you can guide your customers and prospects on the journey with you, letting them see the changes you have made and accept them.
With this approach, you actually earn their trust while you shape their perception of you. The key is to be honest and accurate, both in your starting point and in your envisioned future. This takes research and insight.
And the strength of character to look beyond the obvious and easy answers.