Pretty wild, right?
I just read a how-to on marketing and the author assured me that the up-and-coming generation (some call them Generation Z, others call them the iGen) prizes authenticity.
In other words, honesty.
I don't really find this shocking. In fact, I would like to go out on a limb here and say that pretty much everyone, regardless of their generation, prizes genuineness, authenticity, and forthrightness. All of these words are synonyms for honesty.
Tell the truth. Be as up front as you can about what you can and can't do. Don't bring someone in on false pretenses. If you mess up and miscommunicate let them know, apologize, and work hard to make sure it doesn't happen again. These things aren't really all that hard to do, but when you practice them consistently (as a person or an organization) people will be drawn to you. Why? Because they can take you at your word. Even better, when something does go wrong (and it will) they will give you the benefit of the doubt.
As our world changes people find that the number of people and organizations they can trust is shrinking. Where can they invest their money? Who can they leave their kids with? Will their employer dump them the second something goes wrong? Will their partner stick with them through tough times? This pervasive lack of trustworthiness causes people to prize it when they find it.
This is why the opposition to Pregnancy Help Organizations has been focusing on calling us "fake clinics." It isn't accurate, but their hope is that by shouting their slogans loud enough they will drown out the many voices proclaiming the inherent trustworthiness of organizations like Alpha Omega Center.
Do we provide abortions? No. Does that make us fake? Well, since we're not telling people we provide abortions (and in fact, we're telling people that we don't) what's the problem? In fact, here at Alpha Omega Center we have a pretty radical response to the "do you do abortions?" question. Are you ready? Here it is...
Then, of course, we tell them about what we provide. The wild thing here is that after we explain that we don't provide abortions we then share that it would be a good idea to take advantage of what we do provide. Especially before making an abortion decision. Then, they usually think that's a pretty good idea and they come in.
We don't have to worry about them getting angry with us because they're not going to show up expecting something we're not providing. In the rare case where someone seems peeved that we're not helping them find an abortion, they usually admit that they should have asked or read our website more carefully before coming in.
This honesty policy goes beyond how we work with our clients. It is part of who we are. We strive to be honest, open, and transparent with our community, our donors, our staff, our Board of Directors, everyone.
The marketing article was helpful, it really was, and there can be some things we adjust on our Facebook pages or Instagram. No matter what, though, we won't be changing our basic policy that being upfront and honest is the way to go.
Changing Lives Together,
Sarah M. Bowen