by Roger Pynn
I know I probably should have done this a long time ago, but these are challenging times and I’ve spent the first quarter of 2009 worrying about whether I’d have a newspaper to read and whether technology would deliver us from the evil of a world without local dailies.
But as Q2 rolled in I realized Denver was still there, as are a number of other cities whose addiction to pulp ended abruptly one day when their beloved local presses ground to a halt.
And so I’ve resolved to focus on something else: the need for business to commit to communicate in the void.
For a quarter of a century I’ve been advising clients not to rely on the media to get their message across. “It isn’t their job,” I’ve told them.
That’s truer today than ever.
Smart management must invest in a toolkit full of communication vehicles that satisfy the information needs of its stakeholders. Companies have to embrace the way their constituents get their information, rather than either relying on the same old same old, or worse hoping to shape the information habits of those they hope will be their “friends,” to use the vernacular of a rapidly growing social network where many are finding they can establish what we used to call meaningful relationships.
Don’t wait for people to find you. Find them. Be part of their world. Be daring enough to risk their commentary in your backyard and welcome the fact that they have an interest in you. Be willing to respond … but do it openly. Forget the word I hate most: spin.
Spin is for your tennis game.
Remember one of my favorite quotes: “Honesty is a virtue. Candor is a risk.”