But Wait, There’s Still More!

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But Wait! There's Still More by Adam Turteltaub

turteltaub-adam-200x200-150x150By Adam Turteltaub

What did I do before I started serving the compliance and ethics community?  I spent more than 13 years working in advertising.

The irony aside, it was a great background to have because advertising, like compliance, is about persuasion.

When I worked in advertising the first step in the creative process was to put together a strategy document that guided the copywriter and art director.  It listed our goals, what the communication strategy was, key support points and so forth.

It was a useful exercise when selling hamburgers, and it’s a useful one for compliance too.

Perhaps the most important step was when we were asked to answer two questions:  What does the consumer currently think of the brand?  What do you want the consumer to think after seeing the advertising?

The questions were deceptively simple, but the answers tended to require real thought and be surprisingly complex.

Think about a compliance issue you need to address with the workforce.  What do employees think now?  Mull on it, and then write down a sentence or two, and write it as an employee might talk about the issue.  For example, let’s say you have to do some training on data privacy, you might come up with one of these statements for what they think now:

  • I know protecting data is important, but that’s not really something I really have to worry about. Yes, I see confidential information all the time, but it’s not like I’m in a position to put any of it at risk.  Why do I need training?
  • Another round of data privacy training? How am I supposed to do my job with all these rules?  Don’t they understand that I need to keep this data open and accessible all the time?  What they need to do is understand what my day is like.  Then they should figure out how they should make things easier for me not harder.

As you can see they are very different mindsets that can lead to very different ways to approach both what you communicate and how you communicate it.

Once you know what the thinking is that you need to change, write a statement of what you want the new thinking to be.  Here are two examples addressing the mindsets just outlined:

  • I had no idea how sensitive that information is and how easy it is too accidentally share it. I’m going to be a lot more careful going forward.
  • I guess there really is a reason why I need to follow all these protocols. They aren’t just rules for rules sake.  It’s a pain to follow them, but I will.

With a better sense of what thinking is now, and what you would like it to be, you’ll likely be more effective in your efforts, even if it does mean you’re borrowing techniques from the world of advertising.

[bctt tweet=”What does selling hamburgers and compliance training have in common? @AdamTurteltaub” via=”no”]


  1. Keep the good ideas coming, Adam! You’re offering some very essential perspectives on where we really should be focusing our efforts. Pit oneself in the “customer’s” mindset.


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