A reader sent me a message indicating that some of my post are not very diplomatic. Hmm…so I thought about the comment and reflected on my style of writing. It is true that most of time time I just speak what I think and observe about how people and organizations are using, or misusing, this thing we call “social media“.
Sometimes words that reflect the obvious can seem harsh or not diplomatic. In my humble opinion the world has avoided speaking in frank and honest terms and political correctness has simply become a new method of avoiding the truth about obvious stinking thinking. How is that for diplomacy?
Lets look at the definition of diplomacy. In an informal or social sense, diplomacy is the employment of tact to gain strategic advantage or to find mutually acceptable solutions to a common challenge, one set of tools being the phrasing of statements in a non-confrontational, or polite manner. Now I agree with not provoking unnecessary controversy and being polite but there are times when controversy and straight talk are required. When is that? When people and organizations do things that steal our time, money and treat us like “objects to capture“.
The Diplomacy of Public Relations
In a McKinsey Quarterly article titled : Building Private-Sector Diplomacy, Public-relations expert Richard Edelman explores the new landscape of corporate reputation and trust.
If you think about it, private-sector diplomacy bespeaks a different kind of role for business in society: that, in fact, we’re in a kind of diplomatic role in speaking to multiple kinds of stakeholders and that this is an ongoing conversation. It’s not a transaction only; we also have to be much more transparent about how we’re doing and what we’re doing. We are running for office, in a certain way. We don’t have appointment for life.
To me, at the essence of what we’re calling public engagement is this marriage of action and communication. You can be a great communicator, but if your actions aren’t appropriate, there’s not a chance in hell that you’re going to be able to sell the proposition.
Further, I think that we have to have a commitment to every company to become its own media company in a sense—which is to put up your own content and point people to it, and at least have a place where you are hosting conversations and willing to put up the good, the bad, and the ugly. And that’s okay, because at least it says, “We’re in this to have a discussion.”
Are Conversations Diplomatic?
If your negotiating a trade agreement with another country diplomacy is a requirement. However if we as buyers are dealing with sellers whose buying and servicing processes aren’t “social, diplomatic or considerate” then they are the ones creating conflict which isn’t very polite or diplomatic.
When we buy something why should we expect anything but a “social, diplomatic and considerate” experience? If your organization is doing anything less then don’t expect the buyer to be diplomatic. No public relations, marketing or advertising campaign will fix the lack of diplomacy your organization has with the market of buyers.
Only management can fix the problems that create poor diplomacy. All social media does is make your lack of diplomacy transparent.