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Nicole Rose: There’s something to learn from, ahem, presidential candidates

Whether we agree with their politics or not, most presidential candidates are a great example of mass communicators, educators, and trainers. They manage to engage millions of people on issues that many would usually consider boring, such as the minutiae of domestic and foreign policies.

If candidates can make their policy proposals interesting enough to be newsworthy and regularly debated, there may be lessons in their approach that organizations can use with their compliance programs.

Americans spend an average of 11 hours a day on their electronic devices. President Obama first introduced social media campaigning in 2008 (spending about $21 million). The Obama campaign posted nearly four times as much content as the Romney campaign and was active on nearly twice as many platforms. The lesson: It works.

Eight years later, the candidates from both parties are together spending about $260 million on social media.

Businesses can use some of the same techniques to engage, communicate, and train. Even without big budgets, organizations can combine social media with persuasive language, the effective use of statistical data, and repetition.

Persuasive language: Some examples of great speeches, or what I like to term as face-to-face training, include President Kennedy asking “not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country,” President Reagan’s Berlin Wall speech: “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!,” and President Obama’s “Yes we can’ speech” on January 8, 2008. These speeches are persuasive and inspiring, partly because they are short, concise, vivid, and punchy.

Statistics: As Mark Twain famously said: “There are lies, damned lies and statistics.” However, statistics are integral to both an election and to a compliance program. Statistics well used are a great way to grab attention and help people remember an important concept. For example, did you know that it only takes 7 pounds of pressure to rip your ear off, the odds of being killed by a dog are 1 in 700,000 and, most importantly, 1 in 2 people will share this post?

This is important. I repeat, this is important. Successful presidential candidates know that repetition is essential. So let me recap the presidential recipe for great training: Keep it simple and snappy, grabbing attention with catchy statistics, communicated and repeated widely across your entire audience, using a range of methods including social media.

Training that reflects all of these facets can help organizations capture the hearts and minds of their employees and the support and the respect of stakeholders and regulators.

So let’s say together: Yes we can!


Nicole Rose is CEO of Create Training. She’s a lawyer, trainer, writer and artist. Together with her team of animators and artists, Create Training has been making compliance training videos for learners around the world. It can customize training in any language and also has a collection of animated compliance training videos. Follow her on Twitter @createtraining2. Contact her here.

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