“Show, Don’t Tell” is a common instruction in writing. Show us that your main character is happy, sad, sorry, glum, don’t just tell us. You have probably experienced the difference between show and tell if you’ve ever searched for an image using a keyword.
Maybe you need an image that shows “winning.” You type into the search bar “winning” and what comes up is a collection of signs that say “winning.” That’s telling. What you want is the demonstration of winning, a graphic representation. Something like a person running across a finish line, a person holding up a loving cup, a team celebrating with champagne spraying on a baseball diamond.
See the difference?
Well, guess what? The same thing is true in business. It’s important to demonstrate your key branding messages and your core values, don’t just state them on a list on your website. It’s not enough to tell, you must communicate it and words are only 7% of communicating a message.
That means that even if you are telling someone how much you care, their tone of voice and body language account for the other 93% of the message (38% and 55% respectively). Stating this level of care in a policy is never enough. How do you reinforce it?
Public Relations is the Fundamental Solution
The easiest tactics that help you broadcast your key messages like integrity, honesty, loyalty, and dependability fall under the public relations category of promotion. Demonstrating these qualities is much more important than the statement alone can ever convey.
Public relations activities are not limited to a campaign as some people assume. What is the tone of your emails when you are first communicating with a client? Are they as cheerful and accommodating when the prospect turned client now has a problem? Show your customer your dedication to their experience with a response that acknowledges the problem, takes responsibility, and solves the issue.
In the day-to-day activities of running your business, are you demonstrating your ideals? If you say the customer matters most, do you listen to your customers completely and not interrupt? Is there a person whom your customers can talk to at all? Do you rectify problems or just ignore them? If you say that quality is important but are complacent with broken chairs in your waiting room, it makes one wonder what else is being ignored.
Consistency Wins Repeat Business and Referrals
All the things you want your customers to say about you need to come to life in your actions. Honest, compassionate, caring, quality, like family, wholesome, committed, determined, creative, and so on. Whatever those key branding messages are for you, need to be shown in everything you do.
Leslie A.M. Smith founded McCormick L.A. in 1994 offering public relations and marketing consulting to nonprofits and small businesses. She recently published Laws of Promotion. The 50-page promotional guide for small businesses and local nonprofits is available now on Amazon. Call her for help with your promotion. If you found this post helpful, please leave a note here.