Via slashdot I just read about how (some) scientists are upset at the amount of helium wasted in party balloons each year. I’d read somewhere else in the last few months about a helium shortage but had never really thought much about it. Helium is one of those things a lot of us just take for granted because we don’t need it very often. Apparently it’s used in lots of places.
But to the point I’m looking to make: how you relate a message is as important than the message itself. While most of us don’t interact with helium balloons often, we interact with them more often than we do with MRI machines. Many people also assume that there would naturally be alternatives to helium in MRI machines if it was necessary – because we think of scientists and inventors as being really good problem solvers. This may not be true but perception matters.
So what’s the takeaway? Don’t just say what’s on your mind. Take what’s in your head, translate it into the point of view of your audience and realize you may have to do a little education before saying anything at all. On a side note: it’s clear why PR firms can make A LOT of many helping organizations control a message.