This breaks down to three very simple things:
– What do you want to say?
– Who do you want to say it to?
– What methods do you want to use to get your message out there.
Sounds simple, eh? So why do we get it so wrong so much of the time?
Because we’re spoilt for choice. We can connect with anyone anywhere in the world instantaneously, free or cheap via many different methods yet we’re easily confused by the demands of modern communications.
Basically, it’s beating us up to the point of depression. Mental health is fast becoming a crisis of our times – most worryingly, among young people who have grown up hooked into devices that dictate their behaviour.
There’s a massive distraction factor going on.
It’s why people walk across roads in front of traffic or can’t eat a meal without checking their phones. I saw the parents of an infant on holiday last year unable to lure him to eat a meal without an iPad on the restaurant table.
Not you, eh? Well, when was the last time you watched a TV programme without checking your phone? Or glanced at it first thing in the morning or last thing at night before you spoke to your partner?
So how do we take back control and do better business. Here are three simple tips:
Be proactive and get the process right by focusing on the quality of message you want to communicate.
Huge, of course, if you’re running a PR/marketing campaign – but how about everyday use?
Too much email and social media is done in haste. Do I really need to know what you’re having for your dinner tonight? Or when you’re nipping out for a coffee?
Getting on message isn’t about spin doctors. It’s about the quality of the message we send out. What we’re really saying and getting our story straight. So just do it.
2 Communicate with those who matter most first.
Most marketing is aimed at the masses in the distance, who we don’t know and have no relationship with or little perception of the relevance of our communications with them and vice versa. Small wonder most of it fails.
Why not prioritise by focussing on those who matter most first – those closest to us who we know, who like us and will readily give us a leg up with little explanation or convincing to get onside. They ‘get us’ so get talking to them.
And make it a two-way street – offer first. Giving is the easiest way to get back. Oh, and it feels good, too.
So why not make meetings and speaking to these folks an absolute priority?
We all aspire to being perfect multifaceted and multimedia communicators. With planning, some of this is achievable. In reality, most of us have to focus on the methods that provide the best results.
So why waste time on methods that don’t work or aren’t relevant?
This is subjective of course – and ideally you should do some testing but, writ-large, if you focus fully on the methods that deliver the best results you can spend less time checking that phone, tablet, laptop or PC – and more time with you those that matter most, your friends and family.
And that is the best message of all to communicate. Spending time with those you love. Nothing matters more.
Chris Green is an author, broadcaster, media consultant and managing partner of Chris Green Media.
The next CGM Business Media Club meeting is on Friday, October 26 at the CGM Media Centre, Worcester.