Ok we’ve all done it, sometimes we call it white lies, telling a none truth to protect someone from the truth, however do it once, do it twice, and before you know it you’ve become very good at not telling the truth. And in business, this can be dangerous when building brand trust.
Call me old fashioned but I take an instant dislike to lies, no matter the intention. I was brought up to tell the truth and although I made many feeble attempts as a child to cover the truth they were always seen through by my parents. I also quickly learnt that when I told the truth my parents didn’t get angry, they rationalised with me and reprimanded fairly – they respected my honesty.
As a company it’s vital to tell the truth, anything less could be seen as a distinct lack of respect for every single stakeholder in that business. I’ll go back to the child example; remember when you were younger, say 11 years of age, you thought you could pull the wool over your parents’ eyes no problem, the excuses you could conjure like a magician, you thought your skill far surpassed that of your parents – be honest, you thought your parents were stupid.
What we now know as adults is that our parents knew exactly what was going on, they knew we were lying!
It’s the same if you’re a lying business, your employees and customers will soon realise you’ve been lying and when they do I’d run for the hills because the wrath will surely put you out of business.
To avoid this situation altogether just ditch the fear. The fear of what people will think of you if you are yourself. Be open and transparent in your communication.
It will require focus, nurturing and a dig in at get things done attitude but once you get in to it you will achieve a greater level of understanding, awareness and representation without marketing on lies.
To help you get started here are four essential PR tips that will provide you with a direct route to building your brand:
1. Stick to your key messages
Let people know what it is you specialise in, what it is you are good at. Don’t stray from this, stick to what you know.
2. Involve all staff
From the top to the bottom every member of staff contributes to the success of a business. Share their achievements, good work and recognise that hard work.
3. Engage all forms of communication
Media and all that encompasses is your best ally, engage it online through blogs, on your website, in print through newspapers and magazines, and use it to communicate.
4. Treat the media well
Be friendly, keep your local, regional or trade media informed as a matter of routine. They desperately want your stories and staying in touch means you’ll start to build a good relationship with them.
It’s much harder to market a business on fabricated truth, I know because I’ve worked for a business that did exactly that. Needless to say I didn’t hang around and the truth is no one else did either, not even the customers. It didn’t have to be like that, the business could have been a success if it had only been open and transparent, and above all true to itself.
Founder and owner of Chew PR, Colette has worked in PR for over 15 years. She has seen both sides and worked for consultancy and in-house teams providing her with an insight not many see. Colette will be contributing to the Public Relations section. She is based in Wakefield, England.
photo credit: Steve Wilson via flickr