Yesterday, we had the unique opportunity of witnessing one of the great communicators of our time – the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama. No matter your political viewpoint, you can’t ignore the unprecedented millions who were personally inspired to get involved and ultimately succeeded in their mission to elect him president. President Obama’s followers truly trust him and they show it. From the 3,851,604 friends on his Facebook page to the record-breaking estimate of over 2 million attendees at his inauguration, it is clear President Obama is committed to communication – from traditional media to new media – and he has driven record-breaking results.
There are great lessons for all of us in business to take from President Obama and others leaders’ committed and innovative approaches to communication. Especially in these very uncertain times, business leaders have a unique and compelling opportunity to inspire employees and build trust, and as a result, lead their markets, strengthen their customer relationships, and beat their competition. Employees are at the heart of your company’s success – they are your most vocal and honest spokespeople, whether you ask them to be or not, and building trust and inspiring this community by empowering them to make the customer experience better than any other in the industry takes great commitment over a long period of time.
Herb Kelleher, co-founder and past president and CEO of Southwest Airlines said it best in an interview with Worth magazine in April 2001: “Employees come first, and if you treat them well, they treat customers well. That makes customers keep coming back, and that makes shareholders happy.” SWA’s performance shows how this commitment pays off, as Fortune magazine reporter Barney Gimbel said in March 2008, “Besides posting its 35th consecutive year of profitability, [Southwest Airlines] was the most punctual, lost the fewest bags, and had the least complaints compared with its peers.”
One of TREW Marketing’s most unique consultation offerings is executive and employee communications. We have led award-winning employee communications programs, and we know first-hand there’s not a silver bullet. We understand the best practices from years on the front lines and bring our collaborative, measured approach to customize programs for our clients, from new, innovative approaches employed by President Obama to the tried-and-true commitment of day-in and day-out global leadership communication.