You can’t handle the truth

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When is confidence not confidence? When it’s false confidence, of course. And trust me, I’m a cynical ex-journalist.

Today I read an article on the aforementioned topic. Well, more specifically, ‘appearing’ more intelligent than other people and how this can help you in life.

Rebecca Burn-Callander, writing in the Daily Telegraph, walked through seven ways you can seemingly boost your IQ levels to gain the upper-hand when in the company of others.

It got me to thinking about the perceptions – or more so, common misconceptions – about public relations.

PR-ing yourself and working “it” – the proverbial “it” – to create a perception of importance and authority. Not letting the truth – and the whole truth – get in the way of a good story or profiling opportunity.

Stop right there. When it comes to PR, I am never of the view that you should be pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes. My journalism schooling taught me better than that.

“What are the bastards trying to hide from me?”, was the commonly uttered phrase of former hack and lecturer Mike Nally, part of the team at UCLAN’s postgraduate journalism department. As a young writer learning my craft I was challenged and trained in an environment whereby you had accountability for delivering a fair, balanced, well-written and, importantly, engaging piece of copy.

And guess what? That’s the secret of great PR. Engaging words that people want to hear; whether a blog, a press article or a radio interview. Forget the fundamentals of why people want to digest news and you’re ability to build a profile or build a brand quite simply withers away to nothing.

A huge part of having your voice heard in a crowded market and standing out from the crowd, is to offer something different, something interesting and something that will endear others towards you. This is my starting point with public relations; hiving out nuggets of interest.

So, while the Telegraph article – a fantastic read by the way – may give you some quick and dirty tips on raising your IQ by 20 points without breaking sweat, don’t forget the substance that sits behind your style. After all, the b*st*rds will always sniff out what you are trying to hide from them…or what doesn’t actually exist.