Consistency is the key to winning.

Everyone in the media is obviously talking about the results of the presidential election. And they should be. It was a momentous evening and a historic event for the country. President-Elect Obama gave one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard a politician give, and while I was struck by several things he said, I was not surprised by the overall content. He set the tone for his presidency but he also stayed on message, and that is something that he – and his entire team including national, regional, and even local spokespeople – did day in and day out over the last 20+ months. Even after Pennsylvania and Ohio came in, everyone on his team that was interviewed said virtually the same thing. They said it wasn’t over, they said they still had work to do, and they said it’s been a long journey but they feel good about their efforts.  And when asked questions about cabinet positions or appointments, they all answered in the same way … by not answering. The Obama camp did a fantastic job of staying consistent and when they made a change, they seemed to do it in unison. I’m sure it took a significant amount of work on the back end, but they came out on top in part because of that work.  As you watch over the next 11 weeks, keep track of what Obama and his team say and how they say it.  You’ll find that they are still all on message and still all saying the same things.
When I wrote my last entry on Monday night, I suggested that you tell your story to one person every day. As you get out there and begin to communicate your message, make sure you stay on point. Create a plan before you talk to anyone, and then follow it. Sure, you’ll need to make changes and you’ll need to ensure that your plan is fluid enough to adapt to new circumstances. If customer service is how you differentiate yourself, make sure you say that in every story. If you offer convenience, say that over and over again. Develop a consistent message and stay on point. You don’t necessarily need to go so far as to create rigid talking points (unless you do), but when someone else picks up that megaphone and shouts about you, you need to be absolutely sure that they are relaying the proper message.  It could be the difference between winning and losing.  Just ask John McCain.