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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Communication Issues with Political Parties

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The fact that the Parliament is in session is not the big story today. The big-stories in the last few days are:
  • PM's degree fiasco:  AAP goes ballistic... BJP responds to the degree issues... Bhakts question AK's degrees... The fun begins 
  • The Uttarakhand Government Dismissal Issues: Govt. suspended: Accusations and Counter Accusations from Congress and BJP: Floor Test: Even before the final results, show of victory...
One common theme that under-runs all these fiascos is the very low quality of public discourse!!! And underlying this is poor communication.

We as a country need to start listening, and stop talking. The diktat that actions speak louder than words is something that we need to re-learn.

In PR, we address major communication issues in all media training workshops. And some of the important points that can work well for the businesses, would have worked wonders here too...
  • Focus on work - Build good foundations and then talk.
  • Back up everything with data and analysis.
  • State Facts and then SHUT UP!!!
  • Neither speak too little nor too much... Too little makes you appear nervous, secretive, dis-interested, or worse lacking in empathy: Too much makes you bombastic, verbose, not believable, etc. 
  • Do not be nasty, overly aggressive or stoop to abuses, whatever the provocation.
  • Saying ill about competition, does not make you smell like roses. People are coming to you to hear about you and your initiatives - limit yourselves to only that. The minute you speak of others, you are inviting them to speak of you.
  • Do not create issues where none exist. 
  • Have a crisis plan in place - so that in situations of crisis, clear chains of command are in place and can address issues as they arise. Never never ad-lib: you get into bigger controversies if you do!
  • Check the veracity of the evidence presented, before you create a noise about it.
  • Be graceful - accept your praises and brick-bats with equal amount of equanimity.

If the political parties start to follow some of the things that our clients are asked to do, our process of communication will better, the cacophony will get reduced and hopefully some sane voices will also be heard, once in a while.

And maybe, just maybe, finally some "right" people may find  a voice too...

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