Politics and Business- Should you be vocal?

AIGA Get Out the Vote Poster (Blue)

With election day right around the corner and with newspapers giving their official endorsements, it seems like it’s time to decide what side of the fence you’re on here.

Yup, you. You as a person, an individual, a business owner, an employee… you’re all these things and you’d better be voting. Apathy is not the stuff of business owners or people who succeed, so don’t be apathetic in any arena of your life, friend. Get to the voting booth.

You might also be the voice of your business, and it’s mighty tempting to use the audience you have to send a message that you feel is important. Here are a few things I’ve been thinking about lately as I’ve been cruising around Twitter and Facebook.

You know your audience better than anyone, and depending on what you’re selling, taking a vocal political position might benefit you. 

If you sell hammers for a living, you’ve got democrats, republicans, and everyone in between coming to buy your hammers. Maybe you’re not the one to take a stand politically in your social media or on your website. But heck, if you sell nature vacations or guns, you might really want to consider saying which candidates you’ve found to be the best to elect to ensure your crowd can get your product. Don’t be silent just because it seems like a good point of decorum, there are lots of cases where this would help rather than backfire for you.

There’s a lot of noise out there already. Avoid being just another yell in the cacophony. 

Have something new to say or have a personal story to add to the conversation at large? That’d be worth sending out there into the ether, because that really sounds like something we could all benefit from reading or seeing. There are already a lot of rants out there, and we’re wading in other people’s general opinions- we’re all tired out here. We’re looking for substance, we’re looking for calm, and we’re looking for intelligence at this point. Be that guy.

If you’re going to stick your nose out there, be a proponent for rational discourse.

It’s easy for all of us as voters, family members, customers and sales folk to want to blame one side or another for some of the tripe we’ve been subject to. Taking a side doesn’t mean you need to be angry or negatively impactful. Please, research your claims, say why more than you’re saying what, and give us some meaty bits to chew on.

At the end of the day, lead by example.

Tell your people to vote. Tell them to care. Respect their many and varied positions. Erase apathy, because apathy might be why they haven’t picked up your latest whatsit yet.

Do business with integrity and honesty. Dislike lots of packaging and have strong feelings about environmental issues? You have the power to eliminate as much packaging as possible from your products whether you’re clerk at a counter or a CEO. Admins- use vendors who share your views and your values and produce goods and services that do good in the world.

Still wondering if it’s a good idea for you to take a stand on something publicly? Comment here and let’s chat about it.