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Check the Facts, Always
By: Janet Kalandranis
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As brands it’s important that content is relevant and makes sense to the audience. Seems pretty obvious, right? Well, maybe not. But no matter what, brands need to make sure their relevant messages are actually correct, current, and will attract the audience. One of the biggest opportunities with audiences is to “speak their language.” This allows brands to get a message across in a way that the audience wants to hear. But what if the message was off, just a little...would it still work? The short answer: No. The long, detailed one: still no. Audiences are smarter than that; they want relevant messages that don’t make them think twice. So brands, check the facts first.

The New York Times is smart, it’s in the business of being relevant and it should know how to check facts. One would assume that this was cost of entry for any newspaper brand, especially one that is known across the world. Well, not so. Recently, The New York Times called South Boston “SoBo” — a nice little abbreviation for an area of the city. Makes sense because that’s what the locals call it, right? Wrong. Not a single native references the area as SoBo, making the publication look like this was the first article it printed. It’s a rookie mistake by a long-standing respected newspaper.

What went wrong? The New York Times forgot to check and test. It assumed. No brand should ever assume. Even a newspaper brand. Because if there’s a mistake, the audience will respond loud and clear. The short story is that building developers somewhere at some point in time labeled the area SoBo. So the publication picked up on that and assumed it was common knowledge. That’s like assuming what Mr. Smith says is always the truth. No brand should do it without a double check and some fact finding.

One of the easiest ways for an audience to turn the other way or a brand to be discredited is by doing something irrelevant. Brand success doesn’t come from making guesses or assuming end results. If that were the case, there’d be fewer successful brands and audiences wouldn’t be connecting with companies that speak the language. So instead of hoping for success and trying to slide by with a semi-solid plan, do the work and hopefully the brand will be rewarded.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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