I’ve spent more than half a century as a communication professional. After all that time, I still don’t know how to explain my work to friends and strangers.
Possibly the reason is that they’ve personally seen few instances of effective communication in their own workplaces. Or maybe it’s because they long ago decided that corporate America and other organizations can’t really be trusted to act in anyone’s interest but their own, and their skepticism has turned to incredulity.
Whatever the reasons, including the complexity and uncertain outcomes of our work, I now understand some truths about my life’s work in a strange new world.
Here are 10 fundamental truths that I believe every communication professional should be reflecting on today, because they define our universe:
1. The old days of “journalistic” communication are over. It’s not enough to “tell the company story” when that story changes in the blink of an eye and employees live in an insecure, confusing, and sometimes perverse world.