Monday, November 14, 2005

Transparency and Synthetic Transparency

Transparency is an issue I have tackled on my blog, and then questioned on others. For me, it is pretty simple. We are communicators. As communicators who blog and are counseling clients to blog, we need to lead by example.

That does not mean by just having an About page that says who your clients are, instead of disclosing in the post, that you are excused.

That does not mean posting about clients and projects without noting they are clients and projects.

That does not mean you can take the line that "well, if they click through, the reader will see I'm quoted in the article."

That does not mean you even need to link to articles, because that is just whoredom.

That isn't real transparency; it is a 'polyester' ... tacky and out-dated.

What brings this on? Two great posts from Northeastern University's Advanced Organizational Communication course. The first was on Synthetic Transparency, and the second was responding to issues raised by the first post. Yes, this issue has been written on quite a bit out there.

But, kudos to the professor for pointing out that the emperor sometimes is naked.

There's a simple answer that we seem to forget. If we are counseling, we need to be 100 percent transparent, above reproach. We cannot let it slide, but be honest about what we write about. If we are not honest, can we expect our clients to be truly transparent? No, and we have no one to blame but the profession and ourselves.

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