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#CSweet Do my Political Views Have a Place in my Business?

18 Jan 2021 / #CSweet

Do my political views have a place in my business?

What we're really asking here is whether your political views have a place in your public-facing marketing, in which case, the answer is likely no, unless you work within a strongly politically aligned company. But politics do have a place in your brand and will sprinkle into your business.

Let's start with what politics are: Poly- many Tics- Blood sucking parasites

Ok, jokes aside.

Politics: {noun} The activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.

In my opinion, there is no such thing as being non-political. Saying "I'm just not interested in politics", is a politic in and of itself. You are asserting that you believe other people can make the decisions to govern your home, and you are ok not being involved.

Politics are impossible to evade, and they are a part of your brand because they stem from your beliefs and core values.

Best business practices would suggest not leading with political party afficiliations. If I am selling toasters for example, I do not need to brand my toasters with photos of political candidates to endorse my party. I do not need to be politically outspoken and suggest that my views are the right views. And I don't need to polarize myself in that manner.

But branding is all about honesty. So even if I'm not publicly marketing myself as a political advocate, my views will shape my messaging. They will shape my business, and attract or detract my audience.

I believe it is important as a business owner to know what you believe and why. One of the decisions you'll need to make is which of these beliefs are within your core values, and which are just personal preferences. For myself, I am confident in my beliefs, and deeply value open-minded dialogue. I cannot endorse a political party because I am not aligned with one. That does not mean that I don't have educated and thought-out views. I choose to share the views that are relevant to my business services and my audience, and I also recognize that I do not owe my views to anyone. Most of my beliefs are far too nuanced to squish into an uncontextualized social media post.

If your political views are your core values and you feel passionate about. a particular issue and that is your brand, then go for it. Tell people. Be honest and upfront, and be prepared for the backlash that comes with any polarizing qualities. Every action has consequences. If you choose to publicly share a personal opinion, you have given the public permission to respond to that opinion. And if your audience doesn't agree with you, you will likely lose business. On the flipside, if your audience agrees with you, you may gain some business.

The things you choose to share speak more to your brand than your actual beliefs. There is a difference between someone who is a Vegan, and someone who frequently posts about being a Vegan. Beyond reading your political view, your audience is also seeing things like whether you are open or close minded, whether you lead with love and listening or hate and judgement, whether you are educated or bandwagoning, etc. They are getting a glimpse into both your worldview and your heart/motive behind it.

So do your political views have a place in your business? Yes- but it's up to you to decide how prominently you wish to display them.