From said to done there shouldn't be much distance...
Updated: Jun 6, 2022
By: Catalina Jiménez - Director & Founder, Sentidos Comunicaciones
Article published in Forbes
There is no better strategy to strengthen our reputation than showing our public that what we say is what we do.
A few days ago, while I was waiting for my order in one of those coffee shops where they write your name on the cup, I saw how a man in line dropped several of the things he brought from his hands and in turn, in a matter of seconds, the person who was behind and who by the way looked much older than the first, immediately hung up the call he was on and rushed to help him pick up the objects from the floor. This scene, which seems simply as an anecdote, communicated empathy and education and told us about a kind person capable of seeing the other, and this made me think about everything that we communicate non-verbally on a daily basis. It is estimated that between 60% and 70% of what we transmit we do through gestures, body movements, physical appearance, posture, even with our silence or punctuality, among other expressions. In restaurants we usually find many examples of non-verbal communication, the couple who do not look at each other in the eye and on the contrary each one concentrates more on what is happening on their cell phone or at the table next to them, or the diner waiting patiently for the others to stop checking their devices so they can start eating; the customer who places his order without even looking at the waiter who takes his order, the dinner companion who doesn't speak, but who is attentively listening to each story of the other members of the table. Personally, I have had very boring meetings and lunches, when my companion doesn't stop chatting or talking on the phone, I definitely feel that he is telling me, he does not want to be here, or I have had to wait for someone for hours and of course, he has communicated without saying it that he does not give importance to our appointment. Sometimes, from "said to fact there is a long way" and normally the fact or data just needs to be well communicated.
What we don't say
Companies are required to build their stories based on facts, create narratives that are consistent with their actions. There is no better strategy to strengthen reputation than to show our public that what we say is what we do. In this work, we develop the ability and nose to discover that good deeds and facts always have the potential to be stories told from a positive angle, and we find this when we think about the other, what could really interest them? what does this information bring them and how it could benefit or enrich them? and in this manner, we build a message and transmit it. And what about the non-verbal communication of our spokespersons and the brands we represent? In a public relations agency, our purpose is to think about how the brands we represent and the spirit of the spokespersons with whom we work can be capitalized to build a coherent, strong discourse that is in tune with the different interest groups we reach. Now, returning to non-verbal communication... to build these messages and connect with the audience, not only what is transmitted verbally matters, but it also includes all those intangible elements that occur within an organization and that in some way they become the NON-verbal communication of the company. Companies have their own non-verbal communication and it is what happens between their collaborators, in how aligned all team members are with the vision and mission of the organization. There is no more powerful public relations strategy than the consistency of what we are communicating outside with official spokespersons and the congruence between what is heard in the hallway word of mouth and outside with unofficial spokespersons. Make what we say consistent with what is happening. Understanding that words matter and also, the way we communicate them, the type of body language and non-verbal language we use is the best way to express to our stakeholders that we care and that our narrative is consistent with what we are doing and with who we are as people or as a company. It depends on us that what others perceive of our brand through what we say and what we do shows the best that we are as human beings and organizations and that in this opportunity there is not a huge gap between what is said and done.