I don’t normally discuss politics on this blog, and I am not sure that I am going to this time. I am however going to comment on impact that politicians have on their own brand and their own image as a result of the bizarre performances that they deliver in the House and indeed in front of the Media.
In public, the behaviour of politicians, impacts on their own image, the image of their Party, the image of politicians in general – and I would argue the image of their electorate and the Nation.
Politicians put on an “Academy Award Performance” as Joe Hockey did this week when discussing the “Boat People” issue. They in my view, impact negatively on their own image, that of their Party and that of politicians in general. More than anything, these performances reflect a lack of “authenticity”.
Research has shown that authenticity is a critical issue in terms of communicating with the Y Generation. My argument would be that authenticity is in fact a critical issue in communicating with all audiences.
As the influence of the Media becomes greater and greater, I believe there will be greater and greater demand for authenticity and people who are authentic and indeed businesses that are authentic, will have significantly greater cut through.
The fact that politicians stage manage their performances and use Focus groups to tailor their messages, detracts from their authenticity. When they cry in parliament over things that don’t warrant tears, or for effect, they are anything but authentic. When they, as Hockey did, try to be Chilean, they destroy any sense of authenticity.
I believe that authenticity will become increasingly important in all marketing and communication if there is to be cut through, buy in and engagement and conviction.
Politicians are, after all, nothing more or less than products. They need to pay more attention to the way they market themselves and how they communicate. They need to be more authentic.
That’s what I say, what say you?