Even in a world of multi-platform communications, one communications vehicle remains an effective tool of choice for leaders who want to deliver a message to those counting on their leadership – the simple speech.
Even in a world of communications change, not much has changed since the days of Mark Antony and “Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears.” Tonight, in Detroit, a leader with the eyes of a region and a nation pointed squarely in his direction, used an old fashioned speech to successfully achieve his communications objectives.
There was no Powerpoint, no musical accompaniment, no fire and brimstone as Detroit Mayor Dave Bing took to the podium for his first State of the City address. In just about 30 minutes, the basketball star turned businessman turned unexpected politician calmly and assuredly laid out the realities of a troubled city and a high-level view of what his administration’s plans are to fix some of them. The speech was filled with an appropriate level of candor (something far too many businesspeople and elected officials know too little about), information and confidence, there was a limited “rah rah factor.” It was an effective and appropriate recitation of the State of the City, in his view, something his predecessor never did without breaking his hand patting himself on the back or otherwise making a ridiculous spectacle of himself, as in this clip from 2008.
This assessment is purely from a communications and public relations standpoint, not a political one. But regardless of your politics, it’s tough to argue with a speech that is clear, honest, to-the-point and reassuring of leadership. Dave Bing couldn’t have tweeted it any better.