I see this morning in the news that Boots are being criticised for the wording used on a promotion. It appears to support the use of plastic at a time when people are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of plastic on the environment.
This reminded me about one of the things I have been talking about a lot in recent weeks – recognising the mood. It seems the promotion and advertising people didn’t recognise the mood that exists around plastic. As communicators this is something we fail to do at our peril.
Communication campaigns and activity can be won or lost due to the mood around it. If we get it right it will work and there will be praise but get it wrong and it will damage the business or organisation. This is concentrated when we are in the middle of a crisis situation.
We sit and write communication strategies and plans. We try to work out what is the most important thing to do to support the business and the business objectives. We hopefully are using insight to support our understanding of what activity will work. But do we consider the environment factors, what is happening around us and most importantly the mood that exists?
Organisations and businesses can appear really out of touch if they say or do the wrong thing. As Boots have found out it can be just a wrong word or phrase that creates negativity and may damage reputation. In the modern world of social media all of the words and communication around and from an organisation can be shared worldwide instantly. The pressure is intense to get it right.
The key has to be ensuring we keep our customers or service users at the heart of what we do. We need to be listening more than we speak to gather all the views and information and spot emerging trends or issues. It is what makes effective communication so complex and challenging to achieve. There is no formula that will be guaranteed to be successful every time.
The mood of the community, place or country cannot and should not be ignored as understanding and reacting to it is a critical factor. Let me know your thoughts and views about listening to the mood.