By: Amelia Reyes Mora – Founder and CEO of AF Strategic Communication – firstname.lastname@example.org
Consistency is a great challenge in communication in all areas.
Whether to position an executive of a company, sell a new product or service or disseminate the proposal of a political candidate, the communication must be logical, connected and consistent concerning an antecedent or the context in which it is generated. Otherwise, we can be classified as inconsistent or liars and lose a fundamental objective: credibility.
As communication advisors, we have to take on this challenge and see it in its right dimension. In a time when traditional values are despised, one must be very cautious and recognize that the end does not justify the means and that achieving an objective, however lawful, is not above doing what is right.
My reflection is a call to ourselves, communication strategists, public relations, image consultants, and anyone who offers the service of communicating in order to persuade the masses. With how much sorrow we see that those who are supposed to be the guides of good work and strategists with good purpose are even protagonists of great scandals.
Communication has power, a lot of power, but you have to be careful not to fall into the nonsense of manipulation through propaganda that promotes what desperate and tired citizens want to hear, regardless of the reality and scope of a proposal. In this way, we make puppets, manipulable dolls at our whim.
Let us ensure that our communication strategy is consistent, that our client’s behavior is connected to their messages and their history: it is simple, that they do what they preach, that there is a correspondence between their way of thinking and driving.
To cite a simple example, a politician will speak with coherence if he makes promises that he is able to keep if he does not distort reality. Sending incoherent messages in order to achieve a short-term objective is nothing more than a poor communication resource or a limited ability to develop a good strategy.
To be consistent, we must maintain the same line with a previous position that we have assumed. As a president of the United States said, you can fool everyone for a short time, you can fool some all the time, but you can’t fool everyone all the time.
To this wise phrase, I add the wisdom of the book of books that contains a great truth: there is nothing hidden that does not come to light. Therefore, let’s be very careful as strategists of correctly advising those who place their trust in us.
Just take a quick look at the local or international scene to realize that in the political sphere it has become persistent or we could say a common practice, contradictions, and inconsistencies between what is said at a given time or what is expressed in other circumstances.
The expressions learned, the elaborate speeches, the warm greetings to an unknown crowd, the empty promises, the silent press conferences, where asking is prohibited, makes communication a deplorable spectacle.
As strategists, we must prove honesty, say what can be done, when it can be done, and how it will be done.
A very constructive resource or technique is the opening to debate, to a clear confrontation of proposals, where different views are expressed openly, clear ideas are exposed so that the public can evaluate the bases, arguments, and opinions of each proposal and have the opportunity to make a more objective judgment, at the same time that he assumes the commitment to his nation and lives with the decision he will make at the polls.
Related: A vision of the future of public relations, by Amelia Reyes