• Translate:

Practice What You Preach or Change the Speech

A local hospital, a state rep and an oil company need to learn this
The worst direction a parent can ever give a child is “Do as I say, not as I do.” In other words, if Dad tells the teenagers not to drink or smoke, while downing a 40-ounce Bud and chain smoking Marlboros, his credibility level is zero. Yet we see the same thing in business and government every day.
A local hospital recently began an ad campaign promoting “Incredible Care, Incredibly Close.” The campaign wants you to note the abundant local medical talent here and stay in town. 
Yet incredibly, this same hospital ignored our very talented local marketing professionals and used out-of-town firms and production studios. The local professionals did not even receive a request for a proposal — a chance to compete against the out-of-towners.
So they preach “stay local for healthcare professionals,” but in practice, they seek non-local marketing professionals. “Do as we say,” says the hospital, “not as we do.”
At a recent informational gathering about Public Library funding challenges, representatives from the state and governor’s office attended and listened patiently.
Though all promising support, one state rep complained extensively that library supporters contacting the legislators’ and governor’s offices made it very difficult to decide how to apportion budget cuts. He whined that vocal library supporters pushed him to make really tough decisions to cut funding for other worthwhile causes.
I was amazed. Every time he runs for office (he has been on the public payroll most of his career), he touts his leadership ability. Yet when faced with a tough decision, he blamed Library supporters for making his job tough!  I told the rep, “The voters elected you to make tough decisions. If you can’t make them, don’t run for office.”
The state rep further complained he cut down other budgets to make less drastic cuts in Library funding, and that bothers him. But what he is really saying is that instead of standing his ground and voting what he believed in, he cut other programs to cut less Library funds. Geez, practice what you preach — lead, don’t complain about it.
When BP took over SOHIO gas stations, their logo was a shield with the BP initials on it. Everyone saw the Red, White and Blue stations change to British Petroleum colors.
To soften their image, they changed their logo to a flower image. That’s right. A green, white and yellow environmentally friendly flower. They were trying to say, “We care about the environment.”
While there may have been no predicting the Gulf oil spill, it’s clear there were steps BP could have taken to prepare for a disaster. But that would have taken dollars they were not about to spend unless they had to do so.
They didn’t practice what they were preaching, and now it’s cost them. I’ll bet it costs that state rep too. The hospital will probably skate because it’s one of only two offerings in the Valley. But I would not go there unless I had no other choice.
If you’re gonna preach about something, practice it as well. Don’t just talk the talk…walk the walk.

Stay Tuned and Stay Smart.

About The Author

  • Author | George Farris
George Farris is CEO and Senior Brand Coach at Farris Marketing. Connect with George on LinkedIn using the icons above.

Read Next

Nine Rules for a Successful Trade Show

THEY’RE BACK Trade shows are making a comeback. Companies are starting to get back out there and display their products and services. Others are sending people to go and learn about what is offered. As much as trade shows have been maligned in recent years (due in part to the …

Read More

Discuss This Article