Are you saying what you think you’re saying?
In life we communicate with each other all the time. The impression we make, the message we send out, the reaction we engender is all down to our communication ability. In business you need to direct and control your communication more precisely and for this you need to hone your skills.
The method you use and the elements you choose from are fundamental to the reception and understanding of your communication. If you do not first ask what it is you want to say, who the audience is and what you want them to do about it, then your communication may not always be successful.
What is the purpose of your communication?
To engage, to praise, to inform, to encourage? For example the primary function of an internal newsletter is to engage and inform your people, a balanced mix of people news, reward and recognition, sharing best practice and operational updates. This type of communication, if done badly, can easily be tedious, patronising and unread. If done well, it can be motivational and engaging building loyalty and productivity.
What is your message?
If your business is technical and complex, then there is often a requirement to distil and simplify the message to explain and clarify it. Working closely with your engineers or technicians, a good copy writer or editor can extract meaning from existing documentation and draw the key messages into comprehensive, plain English.
Who is your audience?
Are they internal, external, knowledgeable or tech-savvy? Have they got a short attention span or are they expecting to receive more detailed information? Do they like to read, watch or listen? These are some of the fundamental questions to ponder if you are to get your message and your method of delivery right.
What do you want them to do about it?
To join in, to feel good, to alter their behaviour, to step up to the mark? To understand a complex message, to feel well-disposed towards your organisation? Or simply to buy your product?
And then the crucial ‘so what?’
If the decisions you make along the way in your communications planning do not stand up to a simple ‘so what?’ then back track and finesse, until they do. We believe that if you follow the route we suggest you will create communications with impact and integrity that will ‘say what you want to say’ in a way that your audience connects to.