Skip to main content

Unprofessional?

It isn't often that this happens, but sometimes I do have the debate with other people as to what constitutes "professional" behavior or "professional" outfits or a "professional, high-quality communication product."
On its face, the debate may appear to center on substance. That is, the content of a particular document, photograph or video.
But in my view, it's really about the foundational assumption that "professional" must be the same thing as "formal."
That may have been true in 1970, or even 1980, or possibly 1990 and if we're stretching it maybe 2000.
It is not true today.
It is most emphatically not true today.
Regardless of political ideology, there is no doubt that U.S. President Barack Obama has demonstrated he is a master of professional communication.
It is not the traditionally Presidential poses that define him.
Not this.
It's not the serious meetings with former Presidents and heads of state. Frankly the President often looks uncomfortable in those, a bit ill at ease.
No. It is the moments where the President is with the people. Just one of us.
It is the moments where he feels our pain. Where he sings to us of grief, and redemption.

No matter where you are or with whom you speak, no matter what the context, you would do well to take a lesson from President Obama.
He truly understands how to connect - not as the embodiment of an abstract idea, but as a human being. As a person. 
If the metric is success at conveying a message convincingly, then the President's got game.
It's the most professional method of contemporary communication that I can imagine.
______
Photo credits: All photos via White House. Main photo here. Photo of President Obama with arms folded here. Photo of President Obama with President George Bush here. Photo of the President watching a movie here. Photo of the President with gymnast McKayla Maroney here. Photo of the President walking up to a private home here. Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and do not represent those of my agency or the federal government as a whole. 

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

________________
All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …