Does Consistency Matter in Communications?
At HMA Public Relations, we work with clients on strategic campaigns that effectively communicate key messages about an organization, individual or brand to its target audiences. During our media training sessions, which we host to prepare clients to work comfortably with the media and in front of the camera, we stress the importance of consistency over and over. Even the smallest inconsistency can muddle the message and make the campaign misfire. It also creates confusion for all parties.
Here is an example:
In the past month, Discovery Channel ran its annual Shark Week programming and National Geographic debuted Sharkfest, a full month of shark-centric documentaries and specials.
There is one common thread – a critical key message – in every single show that is repeated constantly, even by shark attack survivors: that sharks are not dangerous to humans. The message is backed up with scientific data, and even attacks are easily explained as cases of mistaken identity (we tend to look like seals). During one special this year, I even learned that humans are five times more likely to be severely injured by a selfie accident than by a shark encounter.
However, much of the expert insight and data were lost on the public.
That is because THESE are some of the titles that ran between the two channels:
I Was Prey
Return to Headstone Hell
Great White Serial Killer: Fatal Christmas
Rise of the Monster Hammerheads
Mega Predators of Oz
Jaws Strikes Back
Clash of Killers
Ocean of Fear
I get that the titles need to grab attention – act as click “bait” if you will – but don’t they directly perpetuate the very stereotypes that each special seeks to refute?