Use your experts

November 2, 2009

You’ve got a budget and you’re an ace, silver-tongued communicator. What’s the temptation? To tell the story yourself every time, with clever messaging and soundbites containing all your keywords oozing out of every pore.

It’s all very well, and there’s a place for this sort of output. However, I’d urge communicators to not lose sight of their best asset: internal experts. Unless it’s a purveyor of a basic good which is also utterly uncontroversial, your organisation will no doubt work on some pretty complex stuff. Within this realm of complexity, you’ll usually want to position yourself as a thought-leader; as an expert within your field.

It’s a shame then that the experts – the engineers, the scientists, the analysts, the designers et al. – are usually kept out of sight, while the comms people get to call the shots to the outside world. Instead, I’d really urge all communicators to harness this expertise by producing output that showcases experts (and not make it look too staged…) Not only will they know their stuff, they’ll often be more enthusiastic about the subject matter than you ever could be. Do so, and you’ll no doubt help your organisation come across as a more credible player.

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