By Diane Hurd
Today, we celebrate Presidents Day – a day to honor the remarkable men, both past and present, who have led our country. In honor of our nation’s leaders, below are some timeless words from seven presidents to inspire communications pros.
“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Eisenhower was charged with planning the Allied invasion of Europe during World War II. He spent months building the team and strategy for a successful invasion. Although there was a solid plan in place, Eisenhower knew it was the planning process that would win the day. As communications professionals, we are often asked to write plans – from overall strategy to media and crisis plans. The actual plan is undoubtedly an important tool and baseline for any campaign, but the planning process ensures your team members know what to do, when to do it, and why it’s important. Planning is everything.
“Don’t write so that you can be understood; write so that you can’t be misunderstood.” – William Howard Taft
The ability to communicate clearly is an essential skill for all communications pros. Taft’s point is a subtle, but important one – especially for aspiring writers. Whether writing a news release, social media post, blog or website content – it is imperative that the communicator delivers accurate, precise messages that resonate with the audience.
“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – Teddy Roosevelt
Teddy Roosevelt got it right when he uttered these words. As consumers, we expect brands and companies to do the right thing for the right reasons. When individuals know how much you care, you have begun building the foundation for trust-based relationships. Businesses and leaders can have all the knowledge in the world, but it’s useless if basic trust doesn’t exist.
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – John F. Kennedy
As communications pros, we know that you can put all the effort, time and resources behind an initiative, but, if you lose focus or have not clearly defined the end goals, it’s hard to measure success. By putting direction behind a purpose, you’ll see the results pay off more in the end.
“Reputation is like fine china: Once broken, it’s very hard to repair.” – Abraham Lincoln
Making bold claims and overpromising results is a great way to draw attention to your company or brand. However, failing to meet those expectations can be damaging to the company’s reputation, which, as Lincoln said, is very hard to repair. Especially in today’s “instant” society, with social media and online reviews, a company’s reputation can be shattered at the speed of a tweet.
“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” – Barack Obama
In his first term in office, Obama passed the landmark Affordable Care Act, despite facing wide opposition. Whether you agree with the legislation or not, as communications professionals and leaders, we can admire his persistence. Once you choose the path for your client’s campaign or business, stay the course and you’ll make forward progress.
“The world needs you to not be boring today. Got it?” – Kid President
Robby Novak, the kid behind “Kid President,” might not lead a nation, but he is certainly inspiring others around him and across the world. His simple message of encouraging others to not be boring and to do something awesome is one that I think we all need to be reminded of often.
What are your favorite presidential quotes?