When Institutions communicate: difference between a Voice and a Face
Work pressure being what it is, this post will be much shorter than I would like, but I still needed to throw it out: there is a huge difference for an institution communicating externally between embodying the VOICE of the institution and the FACE.
Wtf? are you thinking? Has the rhino gone mad (well actually, he’s been mad from the start, so any changes can only be attributed to recovery).
Let me try to explain what I am referring to:
- to me, the VOICE of an institution is the communication channel that provides easily accessible information about what that institution is up to and hy it matters to Mr or Mrs Smith in the street. It’s a tweet by @eu_eeas, a press briefing by the spokesperson, a press release on Rapid, etc.
- the FACE of the institution is made up of those individuals that make you “relate” to the institution. That make you think you want to engage not ’cause it’s your job to do so, but as a citizen, a human being, a mom, an angry teenager…It’s a blog like the one put up by the European Parliament webeditors (Writing for (y)EU) that describes their challenges and dreams, it’s the tweets of @dicknieuwenhuis @euonymblog or @jeaninehennis that tell you they are working on this dossier, are shocked by this press coverage, talked to Ambassador X, or are excited about this project…
Everytime I read something about EU Communications, the tagline seems to be : we need to have a story to sell. To me, if you don’t think Europe is a good story in itself and feel this constant urge to create a zillion other stories on top of it, be my guest. I think however that the important bit is to create a FACE for Europe, and not just stick to the VOICE bit. I realise it’s a challenge, but some seem to get it so why not rely on them to help the others in the institutions to make the shift? I just want to be able to cut off the noise, close my eyes and start seeing FACES…