That Doesn’t Sound Like Me

Posted By Adrienne Kowalski on April 14, 2015

Excessive screen time is a common catalyst for many parent-child battles these days. In one recent skirmish over continuous messaging with a friend, I wrestled the iPad from the hands of my 8-year-old and hastily typed a retort. “No, Bridget. I may not play ‘guess the emoji game’ with you again. It is our dinnertime. I must spend time with my family.” My daughter was at once dismayed and humored. “Mom, I can’t believe you did that,” she said. And, I would NEVER speak like that. You do not sound like me.” Aaah. She said it. And it was true.

My gross error (not really) in texting was a pretty good reminder of the importance of authenticity in today’s communications and across all channels. Whether a tweet, a blog post or a press conference, content that is genuine has the kind of resonance that can connect with the audience in meaningful way.

Consider Septa’s social media effort. The transit agency has been working hard at improving its reputation and better serving customers through a relatively new, aggressive and, importantly, bi-lingual social media effort. Throughout Philadelphia’s share of snow and sleet these last couple of months, they persisted in tweeting good blanket updates and engaging directly with their most vocal critics in a very frank and personal way. Their candid approach is winning attention for sure. I’d like to think they are also tempering rider sentiment in the impossibly challenging public transit category.

Do you remember the last blog post your read? Why do you remember it? Was it because it was perfect prose or was it that the author shared a point-of-view in a way that also shared a little of himself or herself – whether smart, funny or incredibly passionate or just unique to the author?  

In thinking about Hillary Clinton’s public mea culpa about her private email usage as secretary of state, I can’t help but agree with the pundits. What if she’d really said she was sorry with any measure of sincerity instead of pulling the he did it too card along with it was a matter of convenience? Undoubtedly, her opponents would still do everything they could to make this an issue well into her campaign launch. She’s just made it easier for them to do it.

No matter the medium, authenticity matters. Here’s to texting, tweeting, writing and speaking in a voice that is true to our clients and ourselves.

Adrienne Kowalski is a Senior Strategist with the Karma Agency.