Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Shining Example of Communications at Its Very Best

Last week, Norway was rocked by a double act of horrendous violence by a home-grown terrorist. It was a moment that cried out for inspired communications and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg hit it out of the ballpark.

At a memorial service in Oslo Cathedral on July 23, Stoltenberg — visibly grieving, but unbowed by the tragedy — led the nation in an affirmation of its values. You can read a transcription of the full text of the speech here, but the words that will live with me always are these:

“Amidst all this tragedy, I am proud to live in a country that has managed to hold its head up high at a critical time. I have been impressed by the dignity, compassion and resolve I have met. We are a small country, but a proud people. We are still shocked by what has happened, but we will never give up our values.

“Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity. But never naivety.”

Our hearts go out to the friends and families of the victims in Oslo and on Utøya and, indeed, to all the people of Norway as they deal with this terrible tragedy in the days and weeks to come.

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