Don’t Talk with Your Plate Full

full_plate252812529It’s been a week since the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and all the talk in comms circles has been, “what is the proper response when things like this happen?” So I wanted to offer a few words about it. It’s also Thanksgiving next week and I think we can find an appropriate metaphor right there at the family table. When you’re little and you’re stuffing yourself with mashed potatoes (ahh the comfort), sweet potatoes, turkey and of course stuffing (named for the verb of the same name), it’s cute. yeezy adidas But sometimes, you would start talking while eating and your Mom would gently correct you by saying (all together now) “Don’t talk with your mouth full.” Because the animal flesh and vegetation you’re consuming should not be a wet and sloppy projectile on this great day of giving thanks. Marketers should heed Mama’s advice and actually just the first part. adidas femme Don’t talk. And this is really, really HARD for marketing and comms people because we LOVE to talk. So much so that we sometimes forget the single most important facet of human communications — listening. Far less sexy than talking, but infinitely valuable, listening provides a way to not only rest your larynx for a bit, but it provides that incredible golden sound of silence that makes people kinda miss your voice. nike pour homme pas cher When events like the Paris attacks happen, the world’s plate is pretty full. And at these times, the world doesn’t care about anything other than offering sympathy and support. Brands can do this too, but always do it with respect and honor, you know, like a real human person would —not a marketing idiot hell-bent on talking through the moment of silence. I mean, who DOES that? Here’s a good mental trick for marketing comms folks — During times of crisis just imagine YOUR message at a funeral. If you’re at a funeral and everyone is offering condolences and support and you scream out, “hey, want to really honor the dead? — just paint your nails with my awesome “wish you were still here but you’re not” black nail polish to mark the occasion,” Then you’re a bit of an insensitive a-hole. adidas ace When you do this on a global scale, you are officially a globally recognized insensitive a-hole. So don’t. Just….don’t. When the world’s plate is full, it’s not the time to do anything other than offer sympathy and support. nike air max thea soldes And if that’s too much, then follow your Mother’s advice and don’t talk at all.