Some Communication Guidance

  • Communication is not your goal.
    • Communication can help you reach your goal.
    • Your goal is either awareness, motivation/action or both.
  • Information is not communication.
    • Information is content.
    • Communication is a process.
  • Transmission is not communication.
    • You can “get the word out,” but once out, where is it going.
    • Reception must be part of the process.
  • Reception is not communication.
    • Reception is incomplete without a feedback loop.
    • No one listens all the time.  That’s why multiple channels and message consistency across time matters.
  • You are truly successful when your audience becomes your transmitter.
    • When your audience spreads your message you win.
    • Keeping your audience inspired to continually spread your message is your job.
  • One medium is not communication.
    • Communicate via multiple channels.
    • A medium determines the content and quality of communication. The medium itself is communication.
  • Mass media are the most efficient, least effective channel.
    • Person-to-person communication is the most effective, least efficient medium.
    • Face-to-face is the most effective, least efficient form of person-to-person communication.
  • Awareness is not motivation.
    • Interest and understanding precedes response.
    • If your objective is motivation/action, aim beyond awareness.
  • Make action easy
    • Tell people what you want them to do and make it easy for them.
  • People want information when they want it
    • Not when you want them to have it.
  • You’re always communicating
    • Everything says something to someone.
    • Your organization’s appearance, service, signage, publications, responsiveness, front desk, volunteers, tone of voice, eye contact – literally everything – communicates something.
    • Is everything you are/appear to be communicating the message and image you want?