Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Barack Sent Me An E-mail!!!

Yes, it’s true!

Barack wrote to me on the night he was elected… just before he went to Grant Park in Chicago and gave his victory speech. It’s an e-mail I’ll keep for the rest of my life!

True, he probably sent the same e-mail to a couple of other million people but it felt like he was writing only to ME!

Great communicators can do that and it doesn’t matter whether they are Democrats or Republicans… Ronald Reagan had the same gift. They didn’t call him the “Great Communicator” for nothing.

Great communicators are not limited to America. Winston Churchill was able to lift a nation with his words... Ghandi led millions with his words and writings.

Another common trait of great communicators is to master the mediums at hand and these are constantly evolving.

In the 1800s politicians could only reach out with their writings and speeches. In the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt used the new medium of radio to take his case for a New Deal directly into the homes of millions of Americans. In 1960, John F. Kennedy used television to win the White House.

The internet has been around for a while but Barack Obama is the first politician to really master its power. Millions have signed up to follow his Twitters and Facebook page. President Obama has raised the bar... and in the future no politician will ever win a major office without understanding and mastering this new communications medium.

Modern business leaders and recognition managers can learn a lot about communications from the new President.

First, make it personal… so the recipient feels like I did when Barack sent me his e-mail. Make sure you master all the powerful new electronic mediums out there. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc… They will help you deliver your message quickly in a medium that resonates with your audience. The same thing applies to recognition professionals. Use all the tools the internet has to offer in your recognition programs.

I believe business leaders and recognition professionals who can’t communicate effectively or use these new tools are in fact leading their companies into oblivion!