With the party political machines in full flow ahead of this year’s general election, phoney spotting takes on new heights as politicians cajole and persuade in a bid to win our votes in any way they think appeals to the voter. The trouble is of course in the rush to jump on the new media bandwagon, many are tempted to communicate in a way that looks anything but authentic.
I’m reminded of Gordon Brown’s ill fated journey into the world of You Tube in the depths of the expenses scandal. It makes for embarrassing watching. The trouble is, trying to shoe horn a personality like Brown’s into a vehicle like You Tube is a bit like watching your dad dance.
It doesn’t work. The result? An uncomfortable looking Brown. The message gets lost. The public don’t believe him and we’re back where we started but with even less credibility than before.
Choose your stage
The lesson the corporate world can learn is the need to balance the increasing number of stages where you can play out your corporate message with that of credibility and authenticity. If you put your Chief Exec on You Tube, you’d better make sure that for him/her it’s a comfortable place to be. If not, why do it? It doesn’t mean of course that you can’t experiment and be creative in the use of new media, but don’t do it just to jump onto the latest social media bandwagon.
People, your employees, your clients, your stakeholders want authenticity. If it feels uncomfortable then you can bet it will look uncomfortable and no one likes a phoney.