Recently, I received the following critique about a draft I had written:
“That’s not strategic—that will lead to more criticism about X, Y and Z.”
For a strategic communicator, that type of response is like a headshot from Zdeno Chara.
So I had to step back and consider—was the reviewer right? Had I missed the mark?
But then my 5PM epiphany—he equated “strategy” with avoiding criticism.
But sometimes the truth means you’re going to tell people precisely what they don’t want to hear. You can frame the message to its best advantage but, in the end, people may be genuinely unhappy. And vocal.
Risk management is a key part of building a strong, proactive communications strategy, but if you sanitize the message in order to avoid negative publicity, then you’re spinning.
Spin often masquerades as strategy.
Criticism can be hard but you have to face it—not duck it.