This month, 4.23 Communication world headquarters is in full-on cross-country move mode. The cleaning, purging and organizing is in overdrive. The packers and movers show up in exactly one week.
It’s a hectic, stressful and emotional time.
Which makes this month’s content theme, The Vulnerability of Words, spot on. Weirdly, I had no idea when I picked my six content themes for the year and assigned them months that this topic would line up so well with what was going on in my life.
As business owners who write for our businesses, we bump up against the issue of vulnerability all… the… time. And mostly we don’t even realize it. But if you’ve ever
written something, then quickly backspaced over it thinking “Oh, I can’t say that.”
thought, “I wish I could talk about xyz, but my folks don’t want to hear that from me…”
worried one of your “business” audiences would see something meant for your “personal” audiences
you’ve dealt with the discomfort that comes from not hiding behind platitudes, corporate-speak or slick, prettied-up messages.
However, those vulnerable words can also be our truest voice and our most potent content.
I wrote about that in this Well Said Wednesday from 2017, which I am re-running today because, like I said, the packers and movers will be here in a week!
Well Said Wednesday: Write From The Heart
Last week, Richard Branson posted a heartfelt “Dear Virgin America” letter on his blog after it was announced that the airline brand would be phased out by its new owner Alaska Air. Having worked in executive and internal communications for eons, I’m always happy to see this kind of prose from a business leader. It’s engaging, it’s human and it’s on point. It praises the wins, addresses the losses and acknowledges mixed emotions. That’s a rare combo.
I have no idea if this is the work of Sir Richard himself or a team that gets, and is given the freedom to use, his voice. But I do know that in a sea of corporate speak, gobbledygook, stay positive messages from corporations, entrepreneurs and small business owners, this one is a nice example of speaking from the heart.
There simply isn’t enough of that in business communication, regardless of what business you’re in.
Now, it takes a bit of bravery to come out from behind the curtain of happy talk and lingo.
Content written from the heart might not be expected or appreciated by all. Some people may sniff that using the word "gobbledygook" is in itself gobbledygook. That’s okay.
You can’t possibly contort your message and words to be all things to all people. All you can do is use your right words for your authentic message. It will resonate with the right people.
Will you give it a go and write from the heart next time you sit down at the keyboard?