The ‘We Know It All’ attitude & why it holds us back

It’s a known fact that we are in a thankless business. Be it from a client side or media, the lack of acknowledgement and appreciation has always been a point of discussion. While, this was an underlining part of our grooming, cut to the current environment, we, as a business at times, are not able accept the lack of understanding of all mediums, the client’s approach or business. And I do not blame anyone, but each one of us who are expected to carry the “We know it all Attitude”. How can anyone understand the business of a client, one that has been running for many years, in the first couple meetings?

As communication experts, we are required to be informed and be the visionaries for brands, hence it’s a pre-requisite that we look, talk and express like we know everything. The feeling is over whelming, and the impact of it is in form of vague clarity of your goal leading to a vision. Its not only our fault, as its not supported with the investment of time provided by the brands or management for us to know their business, access to interaction with consumers and stakeholders, data which supports transparency and validations. While, this is on the industry side of things the upcoming professionals of the communications business are still making judgment calls on media follow-ups as the core of what we only do! I would respect their assumption based on experiences in various companies.

The objective is for us to question – as a business the messages we are translating amongst the upcoming communication enthusiasts and the real culture of our community. As we progress, the receptivity of individuals and business needs a re-positioning.

Talent –As we are expected to know everything in our business, the expectation of a student in a communication institute is fiercely different from reality. So surface knowledge on various mediums, industry and approach is taken as a great start, also with a demand of a high commercial return. That said, I have had better experiences with talent, not from the industry and have managed to forge a valuable relationship with each one of them. With more focus on depth over medium we can have retention of talent over attrition, sustenance over short-term engagements, and a culture of specialisation and enthusiasm. As a young consultancy, the need is to not convince talent, but enable a proactive willingness to be part of not only your consultancy, but the business as a whole.

Work: The scale & scope of work has changed manifold, and many brands are just being trend suitors. Today, the world is about customisation and quality content that is not necessarily hungry for an article in Times of India, but more for consumer engagement and business impact. We never claimed that PR is a short cut to success, so please give us time and the required knowledge. The perception is misconstrued, and its time we are selective when we are guiding, mentoring and introducing individuals to our business.

Business: The growing number of individuals offering the ‘we know it all services’ is also leading to unorganised business communication. When we handle communication for various unorganised sectors, the first advice is always to create uniformity in message, consistency and in building an eco-system. We need a consolidation in terms of views, solutions and tonality. Where is the culture of our profession? Its not literally just communication, but its about everything which is important for an environment.

At the end, I have only one suggestion that we change the spiel, accept & understand what we know & more importantly what we don’t, and collaborate with experts as and where relevant. Let’s design our identity and culture, for something that has its own processes, norms and values!

Minal D'Rozario
Co-Founder & Director at Ideosphere Group
At Ideosphere Minal is responsible for creating brand stories, integrating various mediums, strategic planning and leadership development.
Prior to Ideosphere, Minal has handled strategic accounts while working with leading communication groups including Cadbury’s India, Hanmer MS&L, Kidstuff Promos & Events (Mudra Group), Banyan International (Dubai) and Genesis Burson Marsteller (Corporate & Financial Team, Mumbai & Pune).

Apart from Alumni and faculty at Xavier’s Institute of Communications (XIC) and St. Paul Communications Institute, Minal enjoys exploring and spending time with her son, reading and cooking different cuisines.

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