It pays to be honest

Honesty doesn’t always come as a prerequisite when you work in PR, which is one of the many reasons that we decided to launch Open Communications. We wanted to give people an alternative to the spin.

Despite what anyone says, you can put a positive light on anything but the truth will out eventually. Managing the communications for a brand and business doesn’t mean ‘making stuff up’, it means finding the news angles and sometimes being creative – not dishonest.

This week there was a fantastic example of how honesty is the best policy, particularly when you are dealing with internal communications.

Andrew Mason, Chief Executive of Groupon sent an internal memo to his staff to explain ‘his departure’ from the company, using the following comment:

“”I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today.”

What a fantastic way to end a four year reign as Chief Executive. If you are going to go out, you may as well do so with a bang!

The remainder of the letter wasn’t quite so humorous but it did list Andrew’s failings and more importantly the lessons that he has learnt along the way. It also offered some very good advice to those he will be leaving behind.

Not only is this memo honest and open, it also provides a real insight into Andrew’s personality. He may not have been the best Chief Executive in the world but he is an example of how to communicate during a crisis.

Hats off Andrew. We wish you luck with whatever you end up doing – I’m sure this isn’t the last we will be hearing of you.