This article in Fast Company – Throw Out the Script to Re-build Credibility – Unfiltered Marketing: 5 Rules to Win Back Trust, Credibility, & Customers in a Digitally Distracted World – is a derivative piece I wrote based on the research and insights from four years of the Culture & Technology Intersection study, from which our most recent book was written.

The key point to be stressed here is simple: in an age of collapsing trust, where trust in the institutions around us is at or near and all-time low, the only thing that re-builds a sense of trust is shifting our footing to “RAW” – getting away from slick, over-produced communications that are prone to “fixing in post-production,” and simply speaking off-the-cuff in a manner that clearly communicates the immediacy and sincerity of the moment.

“The shift to raw and unscripted communication is the antidote to the collapse of trust, not just for your customers and end users but for your co-workers and team members, as well. Acknowledging that trust is low and finding ways to push a sense of closure and control back into your audience’s hands is a necessary first step.

Rawness means dropping the heavy production value, the need to hide behind press releases and PowerPoint slides and teleprompters, and simply speaking in an unscripted way directly to your audience.

Former T-Mobile CEO John Legere broke the mold in how a C-suite leader communicated with his customers. Legere described the moment this permanent shift to raw seized him while he was on stage being interviewed at the 2013 CES Show. He was asked what was on his mind. And, he told Ad Age in March 2018 interview, it was then that the dam broke. “There was an event where it started to come together. [During a Q&A] the audience wanted to know what was on my mind [and] it hit a chord. From then on, I started to be the brand.” Legere went off script,  unburdening himself of all the frustration he felt about how backwards his industry was and how he was going to break all the rules he could. The audience loved it. And he never looked back.

Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian has faced several challenges in his tenure, most notably the 2016 fire and power outage that brought down the airline’s IT systems across the country. Not hiding behind his PR team, he appeared on video via Twitter to introduce himself and to provide a partial, but timely update on the crisis and how his company was working around the clock to help stranded customers. He followed this up with additional updates, never hiding and being as raw and unscripted as possible.

Rob Sharenow, president of programming for A+E Networks, has produced not just Live PD—the first truly live-streamed show on police work across the country and until its recent hiatus its highest viewed show—but also Live Rescue, the same concept showing the public the reality of first responders across the nation. In Sharenow’s example, he has literally shifted the entertainment industry itself and the viewer’s expectations into a newer, raw setting. We see a side of real life that not many of us see on a daily basis, allowing us to try on a different persona without scripts, cuts, or editing.”

Fast Company 12-08-20 POVWhy building trust with your audience means ditching your prepared notes

This interpretation of “raw” – which I would describe best as “raw as unscripted” – is one of three interpretations of this important macro trend we explored in Unfiltered Marketing. The other two – “raw as in-process” and “raw as in-context” – are fully described in chapters 3 and 4.

Hope you find this a helpful read!

FastCo link is here.