on... External Communications: Shiny Letterbox Syndrome

"Where's all the positive feedback? Why don’t our customers love us?  Let’s engage more! Let’s communicate more! Rack up the Tweets and the Facebook posts! It's a Comms problem!" 

So, in response to this familiar pressure from the Board and the CEO, the Comms department rushes about talking at, producing things for and pumping things out to the organisation’s customers….and initially the love does increase a little bit. But then it sinks to a new low... 


Shiny Letterbox Syndrome

Because just as the Comms department is fixing a 

shiny letterbox on the outside of the front door 

and draping it with colourful fairy lights to encourage customer feedback, 

at the very same time, the various service departments of the company are installing an

industrial-strength paper shredder on the inside of the front door.

Communications are promises, whether explicit or implicit, to deliver good services. If an organisation does nothing – it has nothing to say; and if it says it will do something - it must deliver. External communications, in any medium, are not ends in themselves but mechanisms for the development of relationships…relationships of trust.

Encouraging trust with brilliant external communications only to betray that trust with tardy or non-existent responses and poor customer service is completely counter-productive:

Shiny Letterbox + Paper Shredder = Brand Meltdown

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