Shel Holtz is blogging lately about his new book, Tactical Transparency, due out in November.
Along the way, he discusses a marketer who blathers to the effect that it's not "transparent" to sell products one is not "passionate" about.
Passionate. Marketers throw this term around a lot. What, when we're talking about fiber-optic networks or re-insurance or even all-natural fruit juice, does "passionate" really mean?
I remember when I was trying to get an employee communication consultancy off the ground, hawking $30,000 communication audits door to door. The agency's principal always told our prospects that the difference between us and our competitors, aside from the fact that we charged $70,000 less, was that we were truly "passionate" about employee communication, implying that the others were simply out to make a buck.
I hope I didn't actually use the P word myself, but I know I nodded in agreement when the principal told how passionate we were about employee communication. And had a client asked me why I was so hot and moist about employee communication, I would have been prepared to answer in 15 seconds, 30 seconds, two minutes or five minutes.
What would be much more true is that I'm "interested" in employee communication, and appreciate its potential to make organizations better places to work and easier operations to manage. I have also fitted my interest in employee communication into my political and personal philosophies (and vice versa). To me, employee communication is an agreeable field of study.
But to say I'm "passionate" about employee communication? I can't do it with a straight face, and I guess I don't quite trust anyone who can.