“Don’t believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see.” With the access our world has to a full spectrum of digital media pulpits and bullhorns, this old adage is perfectly appropriate in addressing the overwhelming volume of voices, ideas and (mis)information streaming through our feeds. And, the statement is universally applicable and timely in today’s global economic and political climate. Staying focused on the world of weddings and special events, it’s crucial to maintain a critical eye and ear on creative content to keep you and your business clear of the clutter.
Tale As Old As Time
Like it or not, gossip is just part of human nature. People want to share stories (or, parts of stories) they’ve heard with their inner circles – or, at least, the most readily available audience. This is true in the working world, especially in our very own events professional community. Possessing the latest industry news, true or false, makes people feel like they’re on the cutting edge. The reality is, if you hear gossip about a fellow pro from someone in the same business, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. For every piece of information shared with you, keep in mind that at least one, if not several, other versions of the same may exist. The possibility of any of them containing a little creative content or twist in translation is very much a real one.
No matter what product or service you’re selling, you’re designing your business website to tell your brand story. To do so, it’s got to look good. Likewise, you’re curating content on your social media feeds to inspire and entice connection with your audience. There’s an intent (or, should be) to control a narrative and to promote yourself for what you promise to deliver. For some, embellishment is a necessary evil. While their creative content, copy or visual, might not be 100% factual, they shouldn’t necessarily be condemned. While we’d never condone a flat-out disconnect between content and capabilities, fluffing or creative writing comes with the territory. Any HR manager will tell you the true value of a resume’s about half of what’s on paper. When creating your content, be clear in communicating your intent. Give credit where due and take it when well deserved.
Content is the great initiator and stage setter for everyone’s social media existence. Posts showing a stunning floral bouquet design, however, won’t always represent the user’s work. Similarly, a check-in at an amazing luxury venue doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an employee or one of their preferred vendors to your fans and followers. Social media’s intent is to initiate connection and conversation. As that translates through content for business, what’s shared can and should represent both work and wishful thinking to your audiences. When you are sharing your work, it’s best to clearly indicate it in your copy. Then, take it the next step and provide additional validation by tagging your partners.
Pro Tip: Check out some other tips on social media best practices in these articles!
Reality vs. Perception
People like to be part of a winning team. Makes sense, right? We’re communal in being and always looking for success. That even applies to something as simple as coordinating a brunch n’ bubbly at the new hotspot for your and your industry besties. The truth is, it’s the root of the publicist profession! Who wouldn’t want someone working for them with the express responsibility of making you look good? To craft positive content and have a solid strategy in place to control the narrative of your life?! “Spin” is just another form of “fluff” or creative content. In business, it has its place but can only be taken at face value. In the same way one of your colleagues tells you they’re “committed” to look busy rather than admitting they’re on vacay, a single ‘best of’ recognition can make you an award-winning wedding professional overnight.
Aside from salacious gossip, which is the slippery slope to slander, embellished or subtly exaggerated is creative content is a fact of life in the world of business. This article serves simply to shine a light on something we all need a reminder of on a regular basis. Take some time, read between the lines, and really get to know the wedding professionals you are working with. In the heat of a moment, basing your decisions, relationships and referrals on spin and media hype might feel right. And, it’ll really good. In the end, however, without keeping a level head and objective perspective it might not be in the best interest of your business or of your clients.