Look What Lost its Voice: Your Logo
Social media makes it awfully hard to hide behind a logo. It wasn’t that long ago when a company’s faceless icon served as its definitive stamp of approval. Just slap it on a communications piece – press release, fact sheet, official statement – and trust that it adds an air of authenticity to whatever message is being shared with media, customers and the world at large. If necessary, put forth the CEO or official corporate spokesperson to go “on-the-record” with official comments or clarifications. Then move on.
I’ve always thought that was an odd way for a company to communicate. Now it seems positively ludicrous.
But that doesn’t stop plenty of organizations from clinging to the glory days when they could take cover behind their shield (I mean logo).
More often than not, they end up looking silly and out-of-synch with current expectations. Worse, they lose credibility with the communities they value most.
Speaking with a “unified voice” may be the ultimate goal, but it’s not a realistic – or even feasible – one anymore.
A company is actually a tapestry of numerous voices (albeit, some louder and more influential than others). That’s always been the case, of course, but now it’s harder than ever (read next-to-impossible) to control the online activities of those individuals. They have access to platforms that give them opportunities to amplify their viewpoints in ways that are virtually impossible to shut down.
Rather than striving to silence employees or force them to fall in line with a prescribed corporate script, the goal should be to give them clear guidelines for what’s acceptable while enlisting a few of them to actively help shape the corporate story.
Easier said than done, I realize. Risky, too.
But it’s a heck of a lot more effective than attempting to batten down the hatches or bury your head in the sand.
Logos, spokespersons and other traditional communications tools are still important PR and marketing assets to a company. They just don’t cut it as the exclusive mouthpiece of the organization anymore.