>It was in my second job, as an editor of a company publication for a large insurance company, that I first learned the power of truth. And what people will do to avoid it.
I was writing a typical article about a committee’s marketing planning efforts. I asked what the team was doing, who was on the team and when they expected to finish the work, and I got a blank stare from the manager who was my source. She said she didn’t want to put a date out there because the team might held accountable to that date.
That’s when I first learned the truth about truth: it’s a moving target.
And I think that’s why so many brands are so bland. Company’s say one thing and act entirely different. There’s no accountability to the brand.
And sometimes, there’s not even a good attempt at being truthful. I was also the editor of a safety magazine for the insurance company, so I got to write articles about propane explosions, vehicle accidents, grain elevator accidents and other things that drive the cost of agribusiness insurance through the roof. On one particular site, the grain elevator manager told me to get on the manlift to go look at the site of a fire at the top of the building, then squeezed himself alongside me, saying “the insurance company doesn’t like it when we do this, but it’ll be okay this one time.” I didn’t bother to remind him I WAS THE INSURANCE COMPANY!
It was clear from my vantage point that the marketing effort was never going to be successful and that operation was an accident waiting to happen. Or was it the other way around?