We received some positive feedback on yesterday’s post about Laurie Cox and her hotel in Midland, South Dakota. This got us thinking about communications.
We don’t write this email because there aren’t enough morning newsletters. To the contrary, the information diet out of Washington appears to be as robust as ever. But sometimes after sifting through the parlor games of the week and policy debates happening at that moment, it can feel unsatisfying and distracting.
There are incredible American stories of inspiration and resilience all around us. There are trends in how we work, live, and think that deserve attention. There is a lot of work our country — and Congress — needs to do.
The news of Jeff Bezos stepping down reminds us of his first letter to shareholders in 1997 — which is often cited as a masterpiece of communicating a business vision.
One thing Bezos undeniably did correctly was build a useful, impactful, and lasting service. The letter’s emphasis on the company’s belief in focusing on the long term and obsessing over its customers hit a note with us. If they were to strengthen their market leadership (remember, this is 1997), they’d have to make decisions a bit differently than other companies.
If we’re going to achieve any of our political, personal, or constituency goals, we should think about doing the same. Our strategy, whether in communications or policy, has to be visionary. That doesn’t mean pie in the sky type of stuff, but rather a vision for the country and communities we want to build. The more time spent focusing on what’s happening on Twitter, the less in touch we are with what our constituents are thinking about or what their lived experiences are.
Those stories are far more interesting. We will continue to share them.