As we move through amazing changes as part of expanding the Performics brand and practices throughout Publicis Media and all the agencies, I am experiencing the importance of open, fluid and fast communications every day.
This experience has reinforced a business lesson that I learned long ago from a famous Coca-Cola executive, Sergio Zyman, who created amazing brand controversy by introducing New Coke which failed as a new brand but had the unintentional impact of renewing passion and loyalty with the existing Coke brand, hence reinvigorating it in the marketplace…brilliant!
I worked with Sergio when he was the head of marketing at US retailer 7-Eleven and I was an account guy at J. Walter Thompson (this was 127 years ago!). In an early-on strategy meeting, Sergio shared a philosophy about business communications that has stuck with me ever since. His strong message to the agency team at JWT was that everything we do communicates, and that we should always apply extra care to make sure we choose our words and actions very carefully.
Fully applying this principle means embracing the impact of every communications touch point and focusing on our very best in producing them. This can be re-reading an email thrice to make sure it is both perfect and poetic. This can be preparing for a phone call with all your talking points well organized and orchestrated. This can be practicing your presentations until you arrive at the perfect pitch. This can be the way you introduce yourself when you walk into a meeting to make clients or partners feel like they have met a perfect match.
Like all of you, I have learned time and again how important first impressions are. But I have also learned that we have a unique opportunity to make an impression every day and moment by moment with the way we communicate. And that this very often defines lasting impressions of who we are.
I encourage all of us to remember Sergio Zyman’s sage words that “everything communicates”. Let’s work to make our communications day in and day out as great as our performance and ROI.
I strongly believe that if we deliver on this principle, all that we seek will be possible.
Have an awesome May!
CEO – Performics WW & Global Performance Practice Lead – Publicis Media