Corporate Messaging: 5 Steps to Increase Authenticity


Charles Alfaro-USETrust grows from authenticityBy Charles Alfaro, Director, Executive Communications, Boehringer Ingelheim

We’ve all been there…you’re engaged in a discussion and your internal alarm goes off, telling you something isn’t right. You might be having a conversation with a relative or friend, or watching an athlete or celebrity giving an interview and you just know; this person isn’t shooting straight.

Guess what…customers, reporters and employees have that same radar, and can tell when messages from the company and its executives are not genuine.

Studies have shown that authentic leaders enhance trust, engagement and productivity. Employees want to work in organizations where the leaders are transparent, as this increases their loyalty, commitment and willingness to follow organizational goals and priorities. Here are a few simple ways to increase authenticity in your messaging:

  • Be strategic: all messaging should support the company strategy, goals and objectives.
  • Prove it: general statements like, “our brand is the best” or “our employees are our top priority,” don’t resonate without support. It’s not enough to say it; you have to back it up with credible proof points.
  • Keep it simple: be conversational, like you’re explaining your message to a friend; avoid corporate speak and jargon, as it only confuses the audience and can sound disingenuous.
  • Be consistent: to be credible means your messages are repeatable and consistent, across all channels and by all company executives.
  • Genuine voice: when developing messages for the CEO, or other executives, they must be delivered in their individual voice and style. Using words and phrases employees know a leader would never say will negatively impact credibility; it isn’t authentic if people know it didn’t come from the CEO.

In today’s digital age, we’re all looking for creative ways to reach different audiences. Remember, no matter how it’s delivered, you must start with a message that’s authentic and genuine.


About the Author:  Charles Alfaro has extensive experience developing strategic, creative and authentic communications, for external and internal audiences. He’s designed programs that have successfully increased the visibility and reputation of companies, brands and executives, at such leading companies as Boehringer Ingelheim, Cadbury and Roche. 

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