After spending a couple of decades in the communications industry, I have to confess that I sometimes still struggle to explain what I do for a living. Luckily, setting up my own consulting firm has forced me to find an easy way to summarize it. Communications isn’t rocket science; it’s the science and art of engaging with people.
As a seasoned communications professional, I believe in the power of ideas to change the world. Yet, I am often reminded of the limitations of my field, as every day brings a new cautionary tale of hype and hubris. No lesson is more timely than Britain’s exit, or “Brexit,” from the European Union. As Prime Minister Theresa May seeks to convince her party and the nation that she is delivering the European divorce that she promised at the beginning of her term, she is struggling to live up to her own spin. This is a classic tale of tactics winning out over strategy.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you know it's election season in the US of A. We've experienced surprises, disappointments and occasionally elation, regardless of our political persuasion. Now, with the Republican and Democratic conventions out of the way, we know the choice that lies before us: Team Trump or Team Clinton. Red or Blue. Conservative or Liberal. But, the biggest surprise of all has been the winnowing of this contest to a political neophyte and a career politician. How did we get to this point? How is the neophyte performing as well as the expert? And, what can we learn from this election?