Have you ever played the old tin-can-telephone game?
Did you foolishly think how easy it would be – only to realize 5 minutes later that everyone around you didn’t have a clue how to communicate effectively? I have. And through it all I felt cross-eyed!
Effective communication is difficult on a good day, but with a dash of pandemic (and a hint of economic meltdown), these days it seems there’s a 3rd dimension of complexity to delivering a succinct message. So what can an organization do to make sure they’re heard loud and clear? Let’s explore – starting with the external channels.
Broadcasting to the Masses
At North Studio, we’ve got automated processes in place that kicks out channel delivery mandates every day at 8:00AM, so that everyone involved with delivering outside messages gets their daily reminder. These reminders have made us more proactive with our content development – including writing press releases for our recent keynote addresses, weekly blog updates as requested by our partners, and a partnership with the web-vertical we team up with to co-create fresh new content. And with that being said (drum roll please) nearly all of us have ended up with callouses on our fingertips. Lots of writing, but the communications are paying off for us as an organization, because now:
- Our partners are keeping up to date as to what we’re up to.
- Our partners are taking our content and sharing it within their social channels, thus helping boost our domain authority and rankings.
- New clients are reaching out for our expertise on digitally communicating, which helps attain new business partnerships, despite the current world climate.
To add the 3rd dimension, if you’re in healthcare to any capacity, tip-toeing on eggshells is a part of your daily routine, much like brushing your teeth. You’ve likely got strong opinions, and have backed them up with facts found through a plethora of resources online – but remember that prudence in delivering an outbound message is key, and staying on track with a “community support message” towards healthcare workers is vital. Companies in aesthetics, hair salons, and doctor offices are still shut down from COVID-19, and are positioning themselves for a soon-to-be cautious re-open. Stay ahead of the verbal communication channels, play it safe, don’t create off-the-rail messages, and you’ll be in the clear soon enough.
Accuracy and Consistency are Your Favourite Tools from Now On
We’ve all seen agencies, organizations, or even government waver with their PR messages at some point. PT Barnum put it eloquently back in the 19th century, stating that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” But thanks to the onset of internet and global communications, there’s also quite a few better ways of snagging the megaphone, and getting your message out to the masses.
In fact, it’s not the size of the megaphone that counts, it’s how you use it! Don’t stray, don’t flip flop, leave strong biases at the door, don’t drone on, and… be consistent.
Remember the rules of how to present that you learned in school (if you’re me, it was from a wise, but cranky 3rd grade teacher):
- Tell them [the audience] what you’re going to tell them (intro)
- Tell them (body)
- Tell them what you told them (summary/conclusion)
It seems so simple – we’ve been learning how to stay on topic since the 3rd grade. So why is it that we are pulled in so many ways these days, and distracted at literally anything? (Insert a youtube video of squirrel riding water skis here.)
The answer is that we’re bombarded with info – almost like an overdose of opinions and facts all circling in a word tornado about to enter your mind through your eyes. Hootsuite found that in the 70’s, the average consumer saw 500 ads per day. Today, we’re up 10x that amount. Keeping your message short and sweet is the only way to hold your audience’s attention, especially when they have thousands of ads vying for that same attention at any given moment. By bringing it back to topic, you’re helping your messages stay consistent and engaging – and that’s paramount. Keep it short, keep it sweet, keep it consistent.