When ‘Truths’ Collide
By Tracy Williams
President and CEO
Olmstead Williams Communications
Distilling your identity to its simplest form – a declarative sentence that is credible and supported by facts – is one of the greatest challenges to many companies. It requires the awareness of a critic rendered with the heart of a true believer. It must be true when spoken by anyone, from the C-suite to the mailroom. It’s a one-liner that resonates with the click of a lock.
Discovering that message and locking it in requires painstaking self-examination. It proves that what you say is what you do. That ought to be simple enough, but eight out of 10 times, when we work with companies to develop media and marketing messages, even the executives disagree about seemingly true statements.
How is that possible when they’ve all worked together to build a company? The answer is that sales representatives know certain truths from customers; CEOs know what investors and the board think; and operations and production managers just shake their heads because they have their own truths.
It’s not a bad thing when “truths” collide. In fact, exciting and unexpected progress is often made when a room of impassioned company leaders from different disciplines confront tough questions from outside cynics — public relations strategists like us. A cascade of mutual recognition, new ideas and revitalizing common ground frequently emerges for those willing to meet the challenge in open, honest dialogue.
The result? Concise, singularly truthful messaging that accurately positions the company and resonates with key audiences.
The world wants to know what you do and how you do it. Be ready with the answer.