Like most people, I love being right. It might even be a small part of why I got into the field of Communications and PR. There’s no right or wrong in Communications, you can be right all the time as long as you think about what people want and need to hear, and what they will respond to.
I remember when I was about 12 my mother told me that not everything was black and white. I knew that, but back then I just wanted everyone to come around to my way of thinking! My version of life’s right and wrongs.
But as I grew older, and definitely wiser, I stopped thinking so much about being like everyone else and more about why people think and act differently.
Why what I say about an issue to one person might really resonate, but to another it’s complete nonsense.
This is the challenge of communicating about social policy issues, about decisions and actions that affect, at some point in time, everyone’s life. We can’t craft a message that will work for everybody. We can’t explain the intricacies of a decision, the ins and outs of how a public program works, or the reasons for more or less funding in one set of Talking Points.