One thing you are never going to hear from a medical doctor is that you’re half-pregnant. A woman is either pregnant or not. There are no other alternatives. It’s black or white, not gray. But, this doesn’t mean you can’t be half-pregnant in regards to business and/or marketing. In fact, in my humble opinion, I feel this diagnosis of late is in epidemic proportions.
How I define half-pregnancy in marketing and business is as such: “Trying to offend anyone or anything by choosing a side, even when a side is presented.” Again, this my definition and is not official.
GO AHEAD AND TAKE A SIDE
Half-pregnancy is a common practice in politics. Politicians are always trying to walk a fine line to please all parties. They are very careful when they make “stands” on issues and subjects that they try to make sure that both political parties will agree to some or all of the parts.
It’s this ‘not wanting’ to offend that impregnates the situation. And, that tightrope places that “said” person or thing in the vast and valueless wasteland of the dreaded “gray area.” Whenever you set out to become like Switzerland (slang meaning – not making waves or taking any sides… being neutral), then you are setting yourself up to not gain attention. Its similar to this saying – ‘When a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make noise?’
Taking a stance, side and position is important in making noise. Politicians want to be remembered and not forgotten because their words lacked opinion or substance. But in this day and age of transparency (being authentic), it’s very easy for people to find out information. If you want to hold the line that you don’t have a particular agenda, they can find out in a matter of seconds if that’s indeed true.
To make this point a bit clearer, let’s look at this hypothetical situation. Jane Doe is running for State Governor and she says as a female she believes that women should have the right to choose what happens to their own bodies and that birth begins at the moment of conception. She is referring to both the pro-life and pro-choice abortion movements with her professed beliefs. But, she has regularly attended pro-life rallies and fundraisers as a part of her Catholic parish, as such it would be easy to figure out she leans more toward that cause. Which to me is fine. I am trying to make the point here that is fine to take sides, in fact its beneficial. Be who you are and make stances. Otherwise, the noise you make maybe only heard by you and that’s not a good PR move.
LEARNING THE HARD WAY
I found this out myself. Here’s what happened to me. When I entered college I wanted to pursue a career as as sportscaster (don’t laugh too hard). With that, I was able to finagle being the guest on a local radio sports show. It was my first foray into media and I was nervous, yet excited about the opportunity. Five minutes into the interview he asked me my opinion about who would win the “freeway series,” between The Los Angeles Dodgers and then the California Angels. I said something to the effect like “both teams seemed to performed strongly in pre-season” – I was in Switzerland, I gave a valueless “gray answer” and boy I got ripped when we went to the next commercial. The local sportscaster told me if I wanted a future in the business, I needed to have an ‘opinion’ on everything and I had to boldly state it. Otherwise, I would never make it. I needed to take a stance; he was right and that thought has stuck with me ever since.
I also often use this statement that I overheard somewhere…”when throwing a dinner party, it’s best to invite guests of differing opinions. Otherwise, it would make for one boring and long dinner discussion if we all agreed on the same subjects.” I so agree. We all can learn from each other.
So I’m taking a stance against the gray area and half-pregnancy and hope that you will call me out if you see me falling into this common practice. Is this something you have experienced too? I’d love to hear your thoughts.