“You are the Message”

“You are the Message” by Roger Ailes and Jon Kraushar.

Roger Ailes knows a thing or two about effective communication. Now mostly known for building the media empire that is the Fox News Channel, Ailes cut his teeth producing television and preparing political candidates for debates and speaking. He is also widely credited for coaching President Ronald Reagan ahead of the “Gipper’s” strong debate performances in the 1984 re-election campaign.

In 1989, Ailes and his longtime colleague Jon Kraushar (who recently consulted for Paul Ryan in the 2012 Presidential) wrote a book that still stands to this day as a timeless, “must-read” handbook for every political candidate, business leader, or any professional who will, at some point, address a room, jury, board meeting, investor call, reporter or crowd.

In short, words matter, but how the audience feels about the person speaking matters more. As Ailes and Kraushar put it simply: “You are the message.” People will only like what you have to say if they like who is saying it. To do this, Ailes and Kraushar methodically go over every piece of verbal and non-verbal communication you can control, ever reminding the reader of the “silver bullet” of bringing an audience around to your position: If you care, they care.

At Quantum, we work to make sure our clients’ messages are understood and we do this by making them practical, simple and sensible – just as Ailes and Kraushar advise. We also talk, just as the book does, without using circuitous “business-speak” jargon, helping clients prepare and execute straightforward strategic communication campaigns.