Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Call to Armchairs

Midway through his fireside chat at SXSW last month, President Barack Obama issued government communicators a call to arms.

Or, more accurately, armchairs.

It's communicators' fault that citizens only associate government with failure and corruption, rather than humming infrastructure, the President said.

"A significant part of the task at hand is telling a better story about what government does," Obama said.

Sadly, the President's call for storytelling comes a little late. 

His second term will soon be history.

Not that private-sector storytellers are much better at the craft, as Hill+Knowlton's content director Vikki Chowney notes in PR Week.

Private-sector flacks are too technocentric to tell stories customers care about.

"In an age in which people get their information from digital platforms, it’s our responsibility as communicators to not just think about building new things—but also think about what we say and where we say it in order to get people to care more," Chowney says.

Private-sector flacks should shun the shiny objects swimming before their eyes and get back to PR basics, Chowney says.

"Cutting through the overwhelming noise of online content with a clear, concise message is something we should all be reminding ourselves to focus on daily."
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