Emitir mensajes o comunicar


Los planes de comunicación de cualquier tipo de organización suelen fallar por falta de proactividad, dinamismo, compromiso y entusiasmo. La mayoría ni siquiera tienen en cuenta estas condiciones para hacer que sean efectivos.

Especialmente cuando se trata de políticas de comunicación institucional, la carencia de estas actitudes es siempre la causa principal de sus fracasos.

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Francisco, el comunicador sorpresa


No tengo ninguna duda de que el pontificado del nuevo Para va a cambiar de raiz la forma de comunicar de la Iglesia. Vemos aquí su primer discurso, la homilía que ofreció a los cardenales después de su elección. No fue su primer mensaje, ya que ése lo dio en su impresionante y sorprendente salida al balcón, pero si fue lo que podríamos llamar su primer discurso, aunque fuera interno:

“En estas tres lecturas veo que hay algo en común: es el movimiento. En la primera lectura, el movimiento en el camino; en la segunda lectura, el movimiento en la edificación de la Iglesia; en la tercera, en el Evangelio, el movimiento en la confesión. Caminar, edificar, confesar. Caminar. «Casa de Jacob, venid; caminemos a la luz del Señor» (Is 2,5). Ésta es la primera cosa que Dios ha dicho a Abrahán: Camina en mi presencia y sé irreprochable. Caminar: nuestra vida es un camino y cuando nos paramos, algo no funciona. Caminar siempre, en presencia del Señor, a la luz del Señor, intentando vivir con aquella honradez que Dios pedía a Abrahán, en su promesa. Edificar. Edificar la Iglesia. Se habla de piedras: las piedras son consistentes; pero piedras vivas, piedras ungidas por el Espíritu Santo. Edificar la Iglesia, la Esposa de Cristo, sobre la piedra angular que es el mismo Señor. He aquí otro movimiento de nuestra vida: edificar. Tercero, confesar. Podemos caminar cuanto queramos, podemos edificar muchas cosas, pero si no confesamos a Jesucristo, algo no funciona. Acabaremos siendo una ONG que da pena, pero no la Iglesia, Esposa del Señor. Cuando no se camina, se está parado. ¿Qué ocurre cuando no se edifica sobre piedras? Sucede lo que ocurre a los niños en la playa cuando construyen castillos de arena. Todo se viene abajo. No es consistente. Cuando no se confiesa a Jesucristo, me viene a la memoria la frase de Léon Bloy: «Quien no reza al Señor, reza al diablo». Cuando no se confiesa a Jesucristo, se confiesa la mundanidad del diablo, la mundanidad del demonio. Caminar, edificar, construir, confesar. Pero la cosa no es tan fácil, porque en el caminar, en el construir, en el confesar, a veces hay temblores, existen movimientos que no son precisamente movimientos del camino: son movimientos que nos hacen retroceder. Este Evangelio prosigue con una situación especial. El mismo Pedro que ha confesado a Jesucristo, le dice: Tú eres el Mesías, el Hijo de Dios vivo. Te sigo, pero no hablemos de cruz. Esto no tiene nada que ver. Te sigo de otra manera, sin la cruz. Cuando caminamos sin la cruz, cuando edificamos sin la cruz y cuando confesamos un Cristo sin cruz, no somos discípulos del Señor: somos mundanos, somos obispos, sacerdotes, cardenales, papas, pero no discípulos del Señor. Quisiera que todos, después de estos días de gracia, tengamos el valor, precisamente el valor, de caminar en presencia del Señor, con la cruz del Señor; de edificar la Iglesia sobre la sangre del Señor, derramada en la cruz; y de confesar la única gloria: Cristo crucificado. Y así la Iglesia avanzará. Deseo que el Espíritu Santo, por la plegaria de la Virgen, nuestra Madre, nos conceda a todos nosotros esta gracia: caminar, edificar, confesar a Jesucristo crucificado. Que así sea”.

La Iglesia como marca lugar


Hay lugares en el mundo que no se pueden marcar en Google Maps y, sin embargo, tienen una marca tan fuerte como los que podemos señalar. Tienen o deberían tenerla.

La Iglesia Católica ha adolecido durante años de una política de comunicación acorde con lo que debería ser. ¿Qué debería ser, por cierto, la Iglesia Católica?. No vamos a entrar a valorar esto, sino que iremos directamente a las sensaciones que provoca.

La elección del nuevo Papa ha conseguido traer, sorpresivamente, lo que desde hace tantos años se echaba en falta en la Iglesia: comunicación.

La Iglesia, como los Estados, alimenta su política de signos. Sólo que, en este caso, la cosa ha sido improvisada y, por ello, queda fuera de toda sospecha.

No tengo ninguna duda de que vamos a tener el privilegio de asistir, de la mano del nuevo Papa, a grandes lecciones de comunicación. De Comunicación con mayúsculas, en un tiempo en el que echábamos en falta la proactividad, el compromiso y el entusiasmo de los que nos deben transmitir.Image

Obama, four years later


As any other one, by autumn 2007, I felt Hillary Clinton was the one to take the victory to become the Democrat candidate to the White House. Shortly after, I discovered Obama´s communication power.

Two years after that, he got a significant defeat in the Olympic nomination. Couldn’t anyone have warned him about the reasons that determine an IOC member´s vote? Anyway, as Chicago was the bidding city, he and Mrs Obama did not have any other chance. They had to. Otherwise, it would have been even worse.

Today, four years after his arrival to the top, I must confess I am disappointed, as far as I thought those brilliant communication skills meant a strong ability to deal with the world (yes, the whole world) in such difficult and delicate moment.

Things have changed a lot. Obama does not happen to be the mighty leader he seemed to be. Although he is, by far, the best communicator of all possible candidates, his oratorical skills have not been backed by a real management of the, overall, social situation.

And, for the last 3 months, my disappointment was daily fed receiving Obama´s tweets. Yes, I decided to follow him on twitter, in the hope I would follow an american presidential campaign and do it very close, even having the opportunity to take part from my mobile phone.

What I have been receiving are dozens of tweets like “donate even 5 dollars”, “donate and share a dinner with the President”,… No more persuading messages to keep me believing in his communication power.

I assume twitter is not the perfect stage to manage a convincing speech. And I also assume I am not American. Both assumptions must hide the reason I felt such disappointment.

US brand suffered a lot under George W. Bush. America was no longer admired as it has been for decades. And Obama meant a new air to recover that, both inside and outside the States.

Obama changed that bad perception in some months and America seemed to be back, meaning by America the Land of opportunities, Land of freedom, and the American Dream itself… Four years later, I miss that persuader that made everyone think things would be better. But he still has the advantage of his communication skills, by far the best of all those of American politicians. Just got to the starting point…

 

Sharing one´s enthusiasm


I firmly believe that Life is Communication. We are what we communicate.

This is the essence of branding, and Country Branding is not an exemption. Every single country is what she communicates.

The input you receive from a place makes you have an opinion about it. Your opinion about it is the result of the impact the messages launched by that place made in you.

I am passionate about communication and I am also passionate about enthusiasm. The difference between communicating and communicating with enthusiasm is infection. To infect people with your message is the essence of communication.

This seems too simple, but I could give dozens of examples of prestigious Communication Plans, actions, advices and gurus that have a total lack of it. They even do not know how to soak their messages with enthusiasm.

“What I do best is share my enthusiasm” – Bill Gates

I have just read this just after going through an interview he gave to a Spanish newspaper, before meeting president Rajoy.

What he says in that interview is really interesting, as he transmits what he wanted to: There are specific problems and there are specific solutions. Let´s act in the right place.

Gates talks about very specific situations, naming them. He even points at what countries are doing wrong: “There are places in more need than others that are receiving aid. Peru is not the place to help.” Although I read that a few hours ago, the newspaper has immediately changed this title. It was not politically correct, specially on a Spanish newspaper.

He meant Peru is a medium income country. He meant there are many other countries with much lower incomes and no possibilities. The message Mr Gates has launched here has made many people be aware of the real situation. He talks about what he touched. And he wants global, national policies on International Cooperation to redirect humanitarian and medical aid to the place the real problem is.

I was infected by his message. Was it enthusiastic? Not in the sense we are used to understand it. But it was, as he put on it all his conviction, knowledge and strong willing to transmit. It reached me.

This visit of Mr Gates to Madrid has also made me think about US brand. Is it a part of it or is it -as I received it- a part of a particular campaign to make people aware of a real humanitarian problem? I received it apart from any national branding campaign. And, moreover, following every day Barack Obama´s tweets, just focused on the presidential campaign and its funding.

 

Two (very) different worlds


Some important issues of this global life separate the world into two: Latin world and Anglo-Saxon one. This is a question I have observed for years, and the first and clearest proof of it I found was the internal wars both sides are fighting into the International Olympic Committee since the 80s´.

Olympic Movement keeps on moving from side to side. An Olympic site is elected after strong internal disputes that do not arise to the general public.

When I began my research on Place Branding, I soon realized it was a matter of the Anglo-Saxon world. I admire their way of approaching communications, their ability to create such practical disciplines to manage the world. But I am convinced they do it their way, and that means they do not mind the rest or, simply, they do not understand that another world is possible.

Place Branding concepts, country branding indexes, best cities rankings, they are all made in English. The more I go through one of these rankings, the less I feel they reflect reality.

It can be a personal perception, but I am sure it is not. I have researched a lot on this and found too many unfortunate conceptions of what Latin world is. Being Latin world Latin America and Spain.

I have to recognize we Latins have a very short knowledge of what Anglo-Saxon world means. It is a matter of understanding that another way of thinking and acting shares the planet with us. Both cultures are too self-feeding.

Well, we´d better talk about British plus American plus northern Europe worlds, all together. But, to the issue we are in, I have to remark the role of British and Americans.

Latins have not developed their own Place Branding criteria and techniques, relying on British gurus the task of shaping their global identity. Why admitting they are on the right path? I doubt an Anglo-Saxon company can carry out a consistent and coherent Branding Plan for a Latin nation. And I have put myself on the shoes of Mexicans, Chileans, Peruvians, Dominicans or Colombians. I firmly believe both cultures are so different to each other they do not even understand what is the other really about.

Let´s think of Latin American people voting for the best countries in the world to live in. Would they choose New Zealand? And let´s think of English speaking world selecting the city with the best cultural and social life. Would they even think of Madrid?

World places rankings are rather difficult to make. We should take the perfect mixture of nationalities to build the right ones. It sounds a strong task, and even each question to ask should have rather different meanings: Which country would you choose to work in? Which to enjoy? Which to live in? Obviously, the quality of life concept of a British differs a lot from the one of a Mexican. The thing is concepts are not the same.