As the light on the life that was Tina Turner has dimmed, we can’t help carry heavy hearts. There’s no question that this powerhouse performer left an indelible mark on all who encountered her and her music. Tina inspired us with her strength to exit an abusive relationship, and her tenacity to launch a meteoric solo career. Moreover, she was an amazing communicator.
From tragedy to triumph, Tina told us a story with each of her songs. She shared her story through countless interviews, performances and across every platform. She candidly delivered a cautionary tale to warn audiences that they needed to lookout for themselves and never become victims.
There is much for marketers to learn from Tina Turner as a communicator.
Transparency and honesty – Tina told us how she felt, what mattered to her, and left it all on the table. The honesty and power of her accounts not only earned her the public’s trust, but also garnered her an outpouring of admiration and financial success. Tina’s story reminds us of the invaluable nature of transparency in communication. Each of us has personal and professional experiences and perspectives that make us unique. Executives are starting to learn the importance of sharing some of their personal stories to humanize themselves. Showing vulnerability in life experiences related to various current societal topics may make employees and customers find you more relatable or credible. In today’s work environment, this can be invaluable.
Energy – When Tina shared stories or news, her passion was palpable. Most do not need to exhibit the same level of off-the-charts level of energy. Nonetheless, our personality and communication styles reflect an intensity dial. It’s important to use it wisely. Assess your role as a messenger and determine if your message aligns with the preferences and expectations of your audience. By being thoughtful and employing enthusiasm judiciously, your message will resonate with your audience.
Disrupt – Tina was an original disrupter. She wasn’t working off a script or someone else’s vision. Instead, she fearlessly pushed the boundaries of performance, defying age, race and gender stereotypes. Even in her 60s she rigorously danced across the stage, showcasing her strong and fabulous legs -- all with a timeless flair. She continued to create rock ’n’ roll hits, refusing to fade from the public. As health conditions weakened her body, her spirit remained indomitable.
We learn from Tina to present ourselves in a way that captures the attention our ideas deserve -- to discover a communication style that resonates with our audience and reminds us never to settle for anything less than what we truly deserve.
Individuality – Tina sought to empower others to take charge of their lives, particularly through songs that became powerful anthems. Tina’s commitment to authenticity prompts us to reflect on our own individuality and the importance of bringing our true selves to the table. Do your colleagues know what makes you tick? Are you able to connect with people on a personal basis? Moreover, when communicating with colleagues or your entire organization, do you maintain a separate "CEO voice" that differs from your everyday off-stage self? Tina encouraged us to figure out who we are and ensure that the voice we use in all aspects of our lives aligns with our true selves.