The year 2020 will be remembered as the most extensive unintended human communication study ever conducted. As many findings will emerge, one element continues to be clear: delivering effective messages requires a human connection based on truth.
In the Covid-19 era, when technology has practically eradicated the daily face-to-face, person-to-person interaction between working professionals, a connection is paramount.
What have you been binge watching?
You can find a powerful example of this in the popular Netflix biopic “The Crown,” which tells the life story of Queen Elizabeth II. In the Season 3 episode “Bubbikins,” the Queen’s husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, learns a long-overdue lesson in empathy.
Just like you and me
The Duke is determined to generate public support for the royal family by commissioning a documentary inside Buckingham Palace. His goal is to portray the royals as ordinary citizens, just like you and me.
The cameras capture their lives in staged situations as they go from castle to castle and yacht to yacht. The result is disastrous. The documentary solidifies the public’s perception that the royal family is a self-entitled, uncaring, and unnecessary institution.
Full throttle damage control
In his effort to repair the damage and loss of credibility, Prince Phillip comes up with the scheme of offering an interview with his young daughter, Princess Anne, to a prominent newspaper.
While the documentary saga is taking place, Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Greece and Denmark, arrives at Buckingham Palace. She is elderly, partially deaf, and has a history of mental illness. Throughout the filming of the documentary, Prince Philip makes every possible effort to keep his mother out of sight.
Serendipitously, the journalist who was supposed to interview Princess Anne ends up speaking to Princess Alice. She speaks candidly “on the record” about her struggles—congenital deafness, schizophrenia diagnosis and subsequent painful treatments. She also shares her joy as she describes her work in Athens for years assisting the less privileged.
Once the article is published, public reaction is overwhelmingly positive. One candid conversation with Princess Alice generates all the praise and acceptance the documentary could not.
Royal lesson learned: authenticity is king
We could all benefit from the powerful lesson Princess Alice taught her son—connect with your audience by using truthful, genuine human elements.
No doubt the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to change how companies communicate with their stakeholders—and we will all continue to adapt. We are equally confident that authenticity, and oftentimes vulnerability, will continue to forge powerful, lasting connections between people.
To learn more about how Spoken Word Communications can help build connections and increase communication effectiveness, contact us.