Simple is powerful
Life is complicated. Business is complicated. Crises are complicated.
Communications are most effective when people REALLY FEEL the words.
This requires simplicity for two reasons:
- People understand simple ideas. If they understand, they can appreciate, relate it to their own experience, have patience and even exercise forgiveness. (Think business disasters and crises, corporate mistakes, even corporate malfeasance…) With that said, it is very challenging to write messaging about complex matters or crisis in simple terms. It requires a settled-on strategy about the most important business objectives, and a discipline to stay focused on meeting those objectives.
- Simple rises above the complex. Details, facts, nuance… that’s for the lawyers, the number crunchers, the compliance team. Yes, the public does need to understand the facts about what gave rise to a critical issue or crisis, who was hurt, how it will affect them, and what is being done to prevent future problems. But even more important are messages like: “We are sorry.” “We will fix this.” “Your safety is most important.” “Our highest priority is you.” “We are making things right.” “This was wrong.” “We can do better.” This what stakeholders will remember. They will remember the high-level sentiment backed by meaningful actions that support the words.