Are you playing devil's advocate?
Mita Srinivasan
10X People

Are you playing devil's advocate?

Your communications team, whether they are in-house or an agency, should be playing devil’s advocate. All the time. Let me explain.

If you are working with a genuine, no-nonsense communications team, it is their job to start by playing devil’s advocate. This means that they need to necessarily ask the "so what" question. While you need to be passionate about what you are selling or advocating, for your communications team (whether they are an agency or in house) need to ask the hard question. They need to put ourselves in the shoes of not only the consumer but the media that is (often) the conduit for this message.

So here are some of the questions they should be asking (and you need to answer) before you pressure them to deliver on the results you deserve.

  • You are setting up an office in the region: This should be good, right? Not necessarily. A one-man band is not a great story but putting a roadmap of more resources for local investment is.

  • You are launching a new product or technology: Is it really breakthrough in the industry? You might think so but double check that it really is going to ‘revolutionise’ the way people perceive technology. Make sure that it is not just an “improvement” on available technology even if it is a rival’s. Quantify the data that really makes it stand out and differentiates. That would make it more interesting not just to your customers but to the media.

  • Are you really the right spokesperson for your company: You may be the CEO or Founder of your company, but are you media-savvy? Surprisingly, most organisations think that if they say CEO or Chairperson – it should be enough. It’s not. He needs to (a) have something that is worthwhile sharing with the media and (b) be media savvy in being able to stay on point and not get carried away. Sometimes, the next person in command might be better. Depending on the message, find the right person to represent you.

So, are you playing “devil’s advocate” or allowing your team to?