Public dialogue can begin by saying a joke!


“I have never been afraid to be a little silly, and you can engage people that way. My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen. So I’m always game for a good joke.” @Michelle Obama #FLOTUS

This is Michelle Obama’s quote, the First Lady of the USA – interview for Variety, August 23rd 2016. Although simple, it sumarizez the basis for communication – establishing a dialogue with your audience, through a common point of interaction. A joke, a smile…these are elements that draw attention. Seems easy, but it only works if it’s done naturally, not just because ,,it must be done”.

Michelle Obama has the necessary natural approach. Her actions also show that she had the necessary open mind to try new things and adapt to her audience. In an interview for The Verge, in March 2016, she talks about authenticity and the emotions that can be perceived by those who are interacting with her online messages. She talks about ideas and the workflow within her team. She easily engages with kids. She interacts naturally with teenagers. She promotes a balanced lifestyle. She speaks about women’s rights. She promotes education. She dances. She sings her favorite songs. All being done by using the personal example, her own experiences and her family’s stories. All this in order to establish that dialogue which brings added value to the other component – the institutional communication.

At this point, there is nothing similar in Romania. The motiveis quite simple – there is no politician willing to build a public presence by using personal experiences, values and objectives. Romanian politicians still have to learn the principles of dialogue and the adjustment of the communication style to different audiences. They are still at the point where ,,they need to be on FB” and they feel it’s sufficient to publish, ,,copy-paste” a few lines from a press release. I’ve seen some ,,attempts” from several representatives of the current technocrat Government – unfortunately, they lack authenticity. Itcan be felt that ,,scenario” feeling, tailored to what’s believed that the public expects. Michelle Obama gained notoriety over time, by consistency and adaption to social needs and expectations.

The dialogue between a public figure and the audience can begin with a joke. Seems easy, but until reaching that point there is a lot of work to be done – you must know yourself and you must be aware of the particularities of those who you are addressing!