it’s a person, not an expense line


Corporate spokespeople keep getting it so wrong.

Their “statements” should be “conversations”.

They should talk to the audience, not at them.

But this morning I see another example of the spokesperson rope-a-dope. We’ve talked about this before but the problem is not getting better – even though companies seem to be getting very practiced at dismissals recently.

To wit, the local Entercom station (WBEN-AM) let go of Monica Wilson, their News/Talk station’s news director for the past seven years because of budget cuts; its Q4 and that’s what radio groups who focus primarily on shareholder value do.

Radio group employees know this starting out – low pay and low job security. But the passion for radio (which I understand and fully respect on their behalf) is what keeps them in the industry. No fight, no foul.

So the local newspaper calls for a quote and gets this beauty of a quote from Emily DiTomo of Entercom:

“Due to challenging economic conditions, we have made a few difficult, yet necessary and prudent decisions to selectively trim expenses.”

Yes I agree, that’s nothing but crap.

That’s what happens when lawyers wrap their “safe speak” around what can be easily and more humanly communicated as a business reality.

Do radio groups not get that their employees read this stuff in the paper? Don’t they get what it does to the morale of “those left behind” at the station to be referred to as an “expense”?

People are staff, they are employees or you might even call them (gasp!) people.

Viewing staff and speaking about them as nothing more than an expense line may make your lawyers happy and make the corporate ax grinders feel less worse (no one likes to fire someone, in most cases) but boy howdy does it devalue the key ingredient without which your business will cease to exist: employees.

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