Uncertain Times Call for Certainty in Communication

Linda Dulye's picture
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Lighthouse

Few months in recent memory have seen as much global upheaval as February and March. From the citizen uprisings in the Middle East to the devastation in Japan, we have witnessed dramatic events that once again have shone a spotlight on communications – for better or for worse.

In Egypt, Bahrain and Libya, social networking and social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook offered a ready-made platform to help galvanize citizens as they demanded a better way of life.

Japan, in contrast, showed the world saw how inconsistent and conflicting information can leave countless people with more confusion than clarity. Here’s an example from a recent news report from Tokyo:

The recent flow of bad news from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has undermined the drumbeat of optimistic statements by government and company officials who have at times tried to reassure a nervous public that significant progress is at hand — only to come up short.

Comparing the circumstances in these countries to organizational communications might seem far-fetched. A nation’s struggle for human rights or for clean air and water isn’t the same as securing buy in for a new business model – not even close.

But these historic events have reaffirmed what effective communicators have long understood: in times of uncertainty, people need context, clarity and hope.

In other words, they need communications they can trust.

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For more insights on 2-way communications, read the latest issue of our newsletter, Spectator-Free Workplace.

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