We all know that people do business with companies they know and trust. How important is it to be liked though? Is it on par with being known and trusted?
I’ve been thinking about this since reading an op-ed in Monday’s New York Times authored by Monica Lewinsky. Yes…that Monica Lewinsky.
Entitled Roger Ailes’ Dream Was My Nightmare, Lewinsky revisits how in the mid 1990s the newly formed Fox News established itself as the go-to source for conservative reporting, thought and opinion through its around the clock coverage of her affair with President Bill Clinton.
“My character, my looks and my life were picked apart mercilessly,” Lewinsky wrote. “My family and I huddled at home, worried about my going to jail…or worse, me taking my own life. Meantime, Mr. Ailes huddled with his employees at Fox News, dictating a lineup of talking heads to best exploit this personal and national tragedy.”
In the two decades since the affair, Lewinsky has recast herself as an insightful, credible and intelligent journalist, as well as an advocate against cyber bullying. Her skill as a writer is apparent. The op-ed is well constructed, and reveals how harmful and hurtful biased reporting can be on those in the cross hairs.
Yet, my personal reaction to Lewinsky’s plight is a shrug of the shoulders. I have no sympathy for her. Although she was a young adult at the time of her affair, she made the choice to carry on with the married president of the United States. What did she think would happen when it became known?
Hey Monica, please don’t rail about a “tragedy” and deride Ailes’ Fox News and the Internet trolls who piled on. You need to own your behavior and, because you refuse to, your likeability (and credibility) suffer.
For marketers, the takeaway here is that we should work with executive leadership to build and invest in a corporate culture that makes our companies likeable and respected. We need to do right by employees. We need to be active in our communities. We need to support charitable endeavors.
When people dig a company’s vibe everything comes easier – sales, marketing, recruitment, retention. Awareness, trust and likeability are the foundation for success.