October 2, 2008
Have you noticed that the phrase “executive experience” is being used to answer questions about a certain politician who has taken center stage in the last few weeks? No matter what the question is, inserted into the response (since often there is no actual “answer”) is the phrase “executive experience” — whether it is provided by the politician or by a supporter or spokesperson.
The phrase “executive experience” is even being used by detractors, as they dispute what is implied by the statement.
This is a real-world, real-time example of the art of staying “on message.” And by doing so, the general public is picking up the phrase — and the intended message behind it — with many taking that message as fact.
While I don’t suggest that nonprofit staff should practice “truthiness,” I do think that we can learn a lot from this process about getting our message across to the media while answering their questions honestly.