Businesses, like any entity holding assets, hope to protect the secret formula or inventory they use to craft and deliver their value.
This also goes for many institutions. For instance, a museum will keep part of its public collection on display but will also have a collections department that must remain secure no matter what – after all, the value of some of these items can attract bad actors.
However, it’s also true that offering transparency and a “behind-the-scenes” look at what you do can spread understanding, open up your business for enhanced trust, and give you a chance to showcase your cutting-edge standards, effectively bragging, the focal point of all good marketing.
Transparency and secrecy are two competing interests, so how must modern businesses adapt to use both well? Thankfully, there is a balance to strike here, and in this article, we will explain the best way to go about it. We hope that can help you curate your business standards in the best way:
Film Content Without Identifying Information
You can create content that helps showcase the internal operations of your business. For instance, you may be able to show your clinicians using the Covid vaccine fridge and other medical equipment to showcase the care and cutting-edge standards you put into your business. However, make sure this film doesn’t include emergency exits, access routes, security infrastructure, and staff that might have more sensitive responsibilities. You can also blur out essential signage in the edit, but if using an independent company or producing this content yourself, review that footage for enhanced security.
Meet The Staff, Without Personal Info
Running a “meet the staff” page can be a helpful way to humanize your brand, even if it’s simply part of the “about” page on your website. However, while you may write a little summary and show a picture of the person, giving a surname or any other identifying information can be withheld or given depending on the level of security you hope to maintain. Moreover, making this a voluntary opt-in approach can be a good way of protecting the privacy wishes of each employee.
Guided, Secure Tours
In some cases, you will want to show your premises and your daily efforts to bring the value you’re known for. Depending on your level of security, you may take your participant’s smartphones from them for the thirty minutes of the tour, ensure they sign release forms where appropriate, and guide them around with a chaperone. This way, you may showcase your headquarters where the magic happens, tour around a factory in high-visibility gear, and remain transparent without giving up any of your essential information.
Display Exemplary Ethics and Standards
Your business might have strict confidentiality requirements, but there are still aspects you can openly share that reflect the heart of your organization. Could you share your company's ethical standards, sustainability commitment, or CSR initiatives? You could showcase your employees' volunteer work or how your company supports local communities. By doing so, you're offering transparency about your company's values and culture without compromising on proprietary information or jeopardizing security.
Limit Access to Sensitive Information
Even as you strive for transparency, there are certain areas where access must be restricted to maintain the integrity of your operations. Be clear about which information is proprietary and why it's protected. Ensure that only relevant employees can access sensitive data and enforce strict protection policies. Consider employing cybersecurity professionals and investing in advanced technologies to protect your information assets. This not only safeguards your business but also builds trust with your stakeholders.
Harnessing Technology for Transparency
In the digital age, various technologies can help you strike the right balance between transparency and secrecy. For instance, using blockchain technology, you can create a transparent and immutable record of transactions, creating trust without revealing sensitive details. Similarly, data anonymization can share insights derived from your operations without compromising individual privacy or proprietary information. The key is to harness the power of these technologies in a way that aligns with your overall business strategy and objectives.
Reveal the Process, Not the Formula
Sometimes, giving your audience a glimpse into the ‘how' without revealing the ‘what' can be effective. For instance, you might be able to talk about your quality assurance processes or the innovative technology you use in production. This can demonstrate your commitment to excellence and innovation without revealing the secret sauce that makes your product unique. I think the balance between disclosure and discretion is essential here; the aim is to be as open as possible about your process without giving away your competitive edge.
Transparency and secrecy are two sides of the same coin, and striking the right balance between the two is crucial for a modern business. By thoughtfully implementing the abovementioned strategies, companies can maintain their competitive edge while fostering a culture of transparency and trust.
With this advice, you’re sure to offer business transparency without harming your business security in any case at all. In the long run, this should help you connect to your audience without putting yourself at risk.