We have three golden principles when it comes to communication: authority, authenticity and audience. Usually, we apply them to speaking in public and giving presentations – but they work well across other communications as well. Forget about where you put your feet on stage and what font looks good on a poster; instead ask if what you’re saying (or doing) is right for the target audience, whether it has the weight of authority behind it, and whether it is authentic.

You really need to get these three things lined up – if your authority wobbles, you’re in trouble. If your message is directed at the wrong audience, it won’t land as it should. And as recent events have shown, if the public thinks your message is less than authentic, it can be catastrophic for your reputation.

So how have two organisations KFC and Oxfam, who have both had their communications in the spotlight recently faired?

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