Fill the Void

Ambersand2
A couple of months ago, there were two fascinating stories on NPR by science correspondent Robert Krulwich. The stories described how the brain
creates hallucinations in order to fill a void. One story
described how people who have gone deaf, or are put in a situation where they
hear no sounds for a long period of time, will start hearing music.

The other story was about a man who went blind but now “sees” very vivid images. An
ophthalmologist explained it by saying, “When visual cells in the brain stop
getting information the
cells compensate. If there’s no data coming in, they make up images. They
hallucinate.”

The same holds true for your company’s communications. If
people are expecting a product launch to happen and it doesn’t – or if rumors
of a product issue or glitch remain unchallenged – don’t think those things
will just go away. Your customers and prospects will fill the void with their own information if
you don’t.

A great article in Public
Relations Strategist
last summer by John Doorley referenced work done by sociologist Tomatsu Shibutani that “When activity is interrupted for want of adequate information,
frustrated [people] must piece together some kind of definition, and rumor is
the collective transaction through which they try to fill this gap.”

Don’t let the market fill the void. Respond quickly whenever
damaging, or even just incorrect information, about your company or products hits
the streets.

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