Building Trust, to be or just to seem to be?
Article published in Forbes Colombia see the original article in Spanish here
By: Catalina Jiménez Combariza
Word of mouth is as old as the building of commerce in society.
How we relate to each other in daily life is something so natural and every day that we do not even perceive it, relating to each other is the foundation of society and recreates our public image. The same happens with a company, its actions and the way it relates to its public, behavior that places it in society and builds its image in it. According to science, we have approximately 7 seconds to make a good first impression, and although we will surely have other spaces to strengthen, improve or enrich this first image, the best idea is to get it right the first time. A kind person usually makes a good first impression, creates a good atmosphere, makes their interlocutors feel comfortable and with this surely takes a safe step towards building trust.
In my family when we were children, they spoke to us about the "magic words" referring to please and thank you !, a very simple and apparently effective strategy to instill respect and empathy towards the other; or at least seem to have them ... Here the importance of "being" and not just "appearing", I would add that the magic is not in what you can achieve; rather, in the good that you generate in the other by recognizing him, thanking him and treating him with respect. We have all had a partner or friend (hopefully we are ourselves), who is well received everywhere, is remembered in a good way in the places he visits, cares about the stories of others, naturally takes care of his image and what He does much more than how he looks (although this is also key), he does it through his actions and his way of relating to others and why is it so natural for him? Because it is the extension of itself. His way of relating and what he communicates is only an extension of who he is; "We are almost always what we seem." The same thing happens in companies, a consistent brand lives what it communicates, its leaders represent its values and transmit it to their collaborators, and this is surely the best public relations strategy.
Living to tell the story
Philipe Kotler argues that for a brand to be loved by its customers, it must first be admired by its employees ... and the reality is that the more consistent a brand is in front of all its audiences, its reputation will be seen with its actions. Delivering on the brand promise can be perhaps the most powerful public relations strategy for third parties to speak up about you and become advocates for the brand and unofficially helping to strengthen your reputation.
When we want to go to a restaurant, stay in a hotel or even go to the hairdresser, we often ask for recommendations and ask our friends about their experiences with these services. Voice to voice is as old as the construction of commerce in society. Let our audiences live the experience and be the ones who talk about us, recommend us and spread the message we want to communicate. The way to fulfill the promise, strengthen reputation and thus strengthen relationships is all about brand commitment. Building the story, exposing it, generating conversation and with all this maintaining the good image of the organization is not possible without what is exposed is consistent with the processes and corporate reality.
TO BE and not just to seem to be
Public relations are responsible for spreading and strengthening the good image of a brand through various communication and marketing strategies, but what happens when what you want to communicate is not part of the DNA of the organization, of its values; when your team is unmotivated and unengaged? The collaborators of the organizations are the official and unofficial spokespersons of a brand, those who know it best, and those who will confirm or contradict what is publicly exposed. Let's make our brands what they seem and let ours confirm it.
Consistently building the story you want to tell outside, having a third party talk about you, will always be a more powerful message.
* Founder and director of Sentidos Comunicaciones The opinions expressed are solely the responsibility of their authors and are completely independent of the position and editorial line of Forbes Central America.