I just returned from a bit of whirl-wind trip to two major cities. It’s part of my new job as CEO of PIER/AudienceCentral. Some of the visits were sales related but most involved initial implementation of PIER, our online communication management technology.
This job, as well as work I have been doing in crisis management and communciation, has given me the rare opportunity to work with some of the top-level communication professionals in the world. For me, this is such a treat, because my journey through life is mostly about learning, and I am learning so much from these people. What an opportunity to discuss personally with the communication manager of one of the world’s leading companies how he is dealing with the controversies that right now occupy the pages and screens of old media and new media outlets around the world. And what a privilege to work with leading emergency management leaders, responsible for planning and communication that may protect millions of lives–to hear their concerns, priorities, strategies, etc.
This blog is in part my attempt to share with any of you who care, some of the things I am learning from these people. I wish I could credit my teachers more, but for obvious reasons, I usually cannot. On this trip, where I had to make several presentations, my basic message was about trust. Whether you are a government communicator or operate in the private sector, it is trust that is the ultimate measure of your success. Whether or not you are building trust depends on two things: are you and your organization doing the right thing–not in your eyes, but in the eyes of your stakeholders? And, two, are you communicating continually, speedily, directly and with absolute authenticity?
These questions resonate with all communicators at senior levels with whom I work. I get so distressed when I see the cynicism in the media, in our schools, in our political and social discourse–the assumption that most in positions of power and authority are bad people and out to screw you at the first chance. Sure, there are the bad apples, as there are in every profession and all walks of life. But the people I am privileged to meet and work with are, virtually without exception, people of high moral and ethical standards, who are continually working to do the right thing, and take their responsibilities as communicators very very seriously.