When the Honesty Show works

There's something cool about a man who isn't scared of admittance. Tell you what, I even think its a mark of super levels of security. Like Dhoni for example. His admittance to the Mohali wicket being misread and so the choice of Nehra illustrates as much the man's confidence in himself as his honesty. It requires courage to be honest. And courage comes easy of you're brimming with confidence. Of course, it also helps if you're 'wired' the brash-confident way. As they say, personality has much to do with your genes and social conditioning.

But then I must caution the use of 'blatant' honesty. Honesty works mostly in one-to-one people scenarios. Because it isn't just the words you speak that cause the impact. Its the way its said and the body language that you put on show. Honesty appears better if it isn't mere words that are used. In fact, your chances of encountering disbelief is greater should it just be words. Your body has to match up!

So what's the point? Just this. Marketers when presented with 'personal' scenarios may use 'honesty' to manage contexts and consumers. Meaning if its a service encounter and you mess up, admit and apologize. Also make sure the body language accentuates your admittance so on the genuineness scale you score sky high. Chances of forgiveness post such 'truthful' performance is almost always guaranteed. The contrast to this is if the scene turns impersonal. For example when its mass media that's being used, owning up isn't such a good idea. Simply because it isn't one-to-one, and so people can't witness the 'complete' penitent human. What they see is performance on screen. And that can't score as much on the genuineness scale.

If you wanna go mass media to correct a wrong, I'd say turn on the PR & publicity machine. Also ensure the PR program schedule doesn't feature a poker faced CEO come on screen with an apology. Tell you what it won't cut much ice. Worse, you'll get spoofed on SNL.

Remember Tiger?


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