We talk when we have nothing to say. We talk because we see competitors talking. We talk to practice talking.
We’ve convinced ourselves that talking IS what we do.
Its gotta stop. I’m guilty. You probably are too.
Think about the successful campaigns you’ve run. I bet the common thread was that you listened a whole bunch more than you talked. That’s because good PR has, at its core, two important fundamentals: 1) listening for a prolonged period before, during and after talking, and 2) giving before asking.
This era, where everyone is a publisher, has exacerbated the ‘PR person as incessant talker’ problem. This was not an inevitable outcome. In fact, today, the tools for listening are better, cheaper and easier to use than ever. This is true whether you’re a huge public organization with a deep social media team and dollars to burn on monitoring software or are a small business that can only afford free tools.
I submit to you that, in the current era of social media/digital, the benefits that accrue to listening outweigh those that accrue to talking.
So why do we keep talking without real purpose and in ways that make us look like jackasses?