Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
September 17, 2007 7:08 PM

Winning At Marketing Is About Following Mister Rogers - Or Lessons In Authenticity

As someone who loves to get up in front of a group of people and talk about the power of Digital Marketing, connecting with today's consumer, and the magic of Personal Branding, I spend a good chunk of time subscribing and reading Blogs on the topic of presenting skills. Beyond what it has done to help me refine my public speaking, it's a valuable skill that is equally transferable to winning new client business, communicating internally at Twist Image and, ultimately, it helps me refine my thought process.

I was struck yesterday by a post on the Humor Power Blog by John Kinde titled, Public Speaking - The Power of Authenticity. I watched with reverence the YouTube video of Mister Rogers (yes, the "it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood" Mister Rogers) and how he managed to sway a very difficult crowd by simply speaking with authenticity (which, as you can see, was also his authority)...

I'll recommend you hop over to Humour Power and read his post, Public Speaking - The Power of Authenticity, for its own merit, but it also got me thinking about the world of Marketing and Communications. The video clip is a prime example that there are three basic components that matter most in having a successful Marketing-related relationship with your consumers:

1. The story.
2. The authenticity.
3. The truth.

What a simple formula... and we know it works.

In this instance, Mister Rogers was able to secure twenty million dollars in additional funding for children's education. On countless occasions, I've seen the same effects work whether you're trying to land a big account, bringing forward a creative idea, or trying to get consumers to connect. Marketing, Communications, Advertising and Public Relations always fail when those three elements are not present. In this modern age of Marketing and Communications - where consumers are now "working" brands at effective levels with mass audiences, I think the delivery of Mister Rogers is a lesson all Digital Marketing agencies and corporate infrastructures that focus on the Digital channel should appreciate and embrace.

The days of "whiter, brighter, faster, new and improved" have had their day. Consumers are looking for connections. The stuff that matters. If any one of us can deliver our messages like Mister Rogers - by telling a story, being authentic and delivering a universal truth, we've won. We'll have won not just the hearts and minds of consumers, but (hopefully), engaged them.

After watching this video clip, there's no denying that Mister Rogers managed to influence and persuade the committee to see his way, but it was done ethically and with passion and integrity.

It's a big lesson for all Marketers, and the perfect way to welcome in a new week.

By Mitch Joel

Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Mario Parisé
    Mitch Joel

    What a wonderful video clip! I love that even when talking to a group of old men, he takes his time, is clear, thoughtful, and full of emotion. It's really remarkable how he takes the same approach to speaking with children as he does for speaking with adults, without losing effectiveness with either. Thanks for sharing that!

  • Posted by Peter A. Mello
    Mitch Joel

    Great post. Driving today I had the chance to catch up on some podcasts and listened to the HBR Ideacast which had an interview with Joe Pine, co-author of a new book, Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want. It's worth listening to. I believe that his previous book, The Experience Economy is a must read for all business people.
    Thanks for the always enlightening blog and podcast!

  • Posted by Peter O'Connell
    Mitch Joel

    Wow, what a clip.

    Without the the theme of authenticity it was incredibly powerful. With it, its even more so. A great simple honest presentation.

    Best always,

  • Posted by Gary Schlee
    Mitch Joel

    Can you say "nifty post"? Sure you can. Thanks for sharing the wonderful example of the power of authenticity, Mitch.

  • Posted by Roida Deirdre McLeod
    Mitch Joel

    What a great lesson in respectful patience and what a 'sweet' and intelligent result!
    Go get 'em 21st Century Cowboy!

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