When communication becomes a sugary drink

Sophie’s campaign for clear communication

When you work in PR or marketing it’s very easy to ‘drink the kool aid’ of your company – in other words, get sucked in by your own marketing messages.

It happens to the best of us and it can be amusing to the outsider when it does – just watch any speech by Donald Trump and you’ll see what I mean.

I saw a closer-to-home example today. An insurance company (we don’t need to say which one) has the caption “we make your world a safer place” on their reception wall.

I looked at that for quite a while, thinking “Do they?Really?”

“Surely you just pay up when something bad happens.”

When I dug deeper, I realised the caption is linked to a series of safety messages across their channels. But, in isolation, it comes across as a bit Trumpy.

We all get a little kool aidy when we work in corporate (or even small business) comms. We need to believe in what our company stands for and be able to talk up the products and services.

But, it’s wise to maintain a balance and stay credible. Too much kool aid can lead you in Trumpish directions.

So the next time you’re working on a pithy one-liner for your company’s big campaign – ask yourself “Does makes sense all by itself – or am I sipping kool aid?”


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