If you work in the communications industry, your job is to effect change. You change perceptions. You motivate action. You cause disruption. For most of us, the ultimate client goal is to change buying behavior. We get paid to encourage people to purchase more and differently. We get paid to cause cash registers to ring. Is it a noble craft? Absolutely. We help create jobs and give rise to success.
But our impact travels far beyond economics. The ability to conceptualize and communicate defines the human race. As artists of communications, we hold a unique ability to help (or hurt) with our persuasion. Our images create emotion. Our copy communicates information. Our media channels the message. But to what end?
While our ultimate client goal is economic, what is our ultimate purpose?
I recently got to spend some time with the renowned Michael Gerber, the author of “The E-Myth” and a number of other best-selling books. He laid it out there saying, “The purpose of life is to make earth like heaven.” Across the world’s religions, the concept of heaven represents the elimination of deprivation, ignorance and all forms of pain. Regardless of your religious beliefs, it’s tough to argue with it.
If we agree and want to create change, we have to know where to start. A staggering 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be "low income" or are living in poverty. Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be "low income" or impoverished.
As communicators, we have the unique ability to help. While we’re not particularly adept at building shelters, digging wells or gathering food, we can shine a bright light on the need for all three. While money and manual labor help tremendously, your talents of communication can achieve an even greater impact.
Find your cause and use your craft to help. Identify the target audience, develop the message and channel like never before. Persuade people to care. Not for money, not for recognition but for the ultimate purpose.
Originally published Dec 25, 2011 1:00:21 AM, updated July 28 2017