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So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
Case studies from famous public shamings and insight into how the affect the psyche.
Great insights into public relations pickles and strategies; fascinating case studies and learnable warnings to always think before speaking... or tweeting.
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Do You See What I See?
Do you look at yourself? Apart from a brief check in the mirror on my way out the door, I don’t spend a ton of time looking at myself. So sometimes what I think I am, and what others see I am, has some discrepancies.
For example- I think that I am fairly energetic and lively, funny, a little snarky, and that my light hearted humor comes across in every conversation. Recently, a new colleague asked me if I was being genuine or sarcastic, because they couldn’t tell. I asked a few friends their opinion afterwards and learned that this is a recurring issue. Apparently, it takes a long time for people to get my sense of humor because my delivery is so flat, and I’m kind of a sweet person, so people aren’t expecting salty to come out of my mouth.
I didn’t really get it until I saw myself in video- and what do you know, my voice really does come off as flat and sweet. I learned that while I was wanting to be funny, light hearted, genuine, warm… my face was expressing that I was reserved, closed off, and kind of judgey. This was a great insight for me to recognize so that I can be mindful moving forward.
Business brands NEED outside perspective. They need someone who can look in objectively and clarify if what you think you’re putting out there is in line with what your audience is seeing. Sometimes these subtle discrepancies that are so easily addressed are the only things holding business back from amazing growth.
When I work with businesses on brand identity, they will often tell me that their problem is the marketing channel, or collateral. When I dig into the brand, I often find that it’s not the marketing material that’s the problem, it’s the messaging. I hear from prospective clients “I don’t know what they do”, or “I don’t understand how it works.” There is an apprehension of engaging with the brand because they don’t understand it.
So how do we fix this? You can probably already guess what I’m about to tell you. We fix it through cleaning up our brand identity, marketing strategy, and messaging.
Can I explain what it is that I do to a kindergartener? (Meaning clear words in less than 15 seconds) If you can’t, then you need to learn how, because a prospective lead will give you about the same listening capacity as a kindergartener.
When I ask people to describe my business, is it the same as how I’d describe it? This is a fun one to test. Recruit some friends, recruit some strangers. And if you have budget, recruit a research firm. Research is infinitely worth the investment. Ask people, ‘do you see what I see?’
Where are my blindspots? Note- I said where, not ‘do I have blindspots’ . We all have them. Surround yourself with trustworthy advisors who you can trust to hold up a mirror and help you better self-evaluate.
Am I willing to adjust? This is a big one. It’s very important to stick to who you are and what you believe, however, running a business requires the humility to accept that you may not know everything. Be honest with yourself and evaluate whether you can listen to insights from outside partners. If you aren’t willing to change, then you will not be happy with the investment you make in hiring a marketing team.
We all benefit from outside perspective. A good marketing team doesn’t just implement marketing for you- they think about it with you. They take the time to understand you, understand your audience, and really evaluate how to connect the two. One of my core values at Honey MAP is honesty and authenticity. I want to be honest with my clients about what I see, and what I hear from others. And I strive to have the same humility when I invite others to shed some light on me, even when that light makes me feel like I’m staring into one of those horrible magnifying mirrors that blows up my blemishes 500%. Truth leads to growth. And that is a good thing.