The recent election cycle in the United States has made one thing very clear to me… that we have now reached a critical breaking point in our tolerance for “spin” communication. What is “spin” you ask? Anyone who lives in the USA knows exactly what it is, because that is all we hear anymore in the news, on the talk shows and every place where there is professional political discussion. “Experts” try to take every nugget of news and information and flip it around so that is received they want it to be received — that is, to their advantage.
Message development is a big part of what we do at The Latimer Group. Our clients ask us to help them develop their message development skills all the time. And even we are occasionally guilty of trying too hard to help our clients put a positive spin on their message. But there are limits to everything, and we have now seen where the limits are in political discourse in the Untied States. People are tired of it. Voters are tired of it. And no one really buys what the experts say anymore, because we have all become numb to the spin.
How do we know this? Because ratings for all the political talk shows are falling. No one is listening anymore because everyone knows it’s all for show. It’s all crap, to be honest with you.
I’m not the first to write this. It’s been a theme of many a column in the last week or so. But this has been on my mind for a while, and what I am now realizing is that the limit of our patience is no longer limited to politics. People everywhere, in business especially, are tired of spin and just want straight, honest, clear communication. Don’t insult my intelligence by trying to manipulate what I think. Just give me the information clearly, cleanly, and tell me what YOU think. Don’t tell me what I should think.
In other words, treat your audience with respect. Don’t waste their time with double talk, and with attempts at message manipulation.
It’s been overdone to the point of absurdity in the political arena. Let’s make sure the same thing doesn’t happen inside your business.
Have a great day.
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Photo by Tom Raftery used under the following license.
I wish I could believe that the electorate is really tired of the spin, but history would suggest otherwise. Perhaps you could make a case that it’s worse today than ever, but if you read some of the “spinning” that was done as far back as the days of Thomas Jefferson, there’s only one conclusion you can draw. Spins works, or they wouldn’t do it. Unless and until people’s behavior stops rewarding politicians with their votes, it will continue – and the American people will continue to get the politics we deserve – fully spun from here to kingdom come.