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It’s time to trust your audience to help them trust you
If you need to convey technical information, public health guidance, or important self-help content, the success of your organization—and your audience—comes down to trust. That’s why you strive to understand your audience, right?
If you can meet them where they are, you can pull them to where you need them to be.
Nothing conveys that metaphor better than trapeze artists connecting in a catch lock. They fly through the air to connect at the peak of their respective swings. It’s a breathtaking performance that seems like magic—so magical, that we forget it’s a combination of physics, trust, and understanding the context your partner brings to the swing.
You might not hear anyone ooh and ahh when you connect with your audience, but smart organizations create that same kind of magic:
- They favor familiar patterns over big surprises, so people know what to expect.
- They teach consumers their jargon so they can feel savvy, not confused.
- They share the struggle, drawing users close to understand challenges in production or the industry.
It’s here! It’s really here! Or at least advance reading copies are. Next up: the equally gorgeous hardcover.
The story behind the story
How do we create that magic? We can design for trust. More than ever, I believe that’s our best path forward—and if you’re a content strategist, design, writer, or marketer, this is the work you can do to propel your organization, audience, and society as a whole.
I believe in this work and I believe in this book. And since you’re one of the first people to sign on to support it, I’m honored that you do too! Let me introduce some of the other people who made it happen, as the cover reflects their creativity.
To start, I sat down with Peter Cocking at Page Two, my publisher, and Jill Swenson at Swenson Book Development, to brainstorm design directions. The flying trapeze metaphor rose to the top of our list, along with the aesthetic of mid-century travel posters. A few emails later, we landed the incredible opportunity to work with illustrator and comic book artist Rich Woodall. Peter and Rich collaborated to capture the energy in a powerful layout, and we were nearly there!
Or so we thought. Enter trapeze artist (and editor) Cathy Terwilliger. She looked at an earlier version of the cover and loved the dynamic energy of the figures—but confirmed what we’d feared: the physics didn’t work.
“No catch there. The timing is off. They should be meeting at the peaks of each of their swings,” she explained.
Of course! Just like in any engagement between a brand and consumer or organization and user, the timing matters. We have to make the catch. With Cathy’s input, Peter adjusted the layout. In front of the dramatic navy curtain and spotlight, we’re finally ready for showtime. Trustworthy goes on press this week!
How you can help
Thank you SO MUCH for your enthusiasm! I can’t wait to get this book into the hands of everyone who can run with it. Here’s how you can help reach the people and teams that can embrace it.
- Forward this post to a friend, or send them to my Trustworthy page to get it themselves (and make sure you signed up too!)
- Share the word on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn and tag me (@mbloomstein) or the hashtag #TrustworthyBook
- Tell your boss or whoever brings in speakers for your organization: I’m booking spring events for in-house workshops and readings
- Introduce me to the host of a podcast you like that could benefit from a lively discussion on how organizations can foster trust
Now, we count down the days ’til preorder in January and launch in March. With the election less than a month away, every day presents new case studies in trust and credibility. We move forward by moving with action and purpose—and that’s much of the message of Trustworthy.
Thank you for running with that message.