All businesses need to get messages across to colleagues, customers and clients. To ensure your company communications fit the bill:
- Know your audience. If you don’t know who they are, or what they want and need, your comms won’t speak directly to them. If you try to include everything, it’s unlikely to go in. Think ‘what does this group of people need to hear from me right now?’
- Know your aim and objectives. An effective message has a permanent impact on knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour. What do you want to be different as a result of your message?
- KISS, or keep it short and simple. Remembering that time is money, if they have to read it more than once to get it, they’re wasting both.
- Keep it practical and pragmatic; applicable to them, their work and their lives.
- Use the language and style that will best help you deliver your message to them. Complex sentences and long words don’t equal great writing, and high falutin’ management speak doesn’t necessarily impress.
- Short, clear and simple doesn’t mean ‘dumbed down’. Aim for about 15-20 words per sentence, but a few more or less won’t hurt.
- Plain English works – pick the Anglo Saxon word rather than the French or Latin version, and it will be more engaging.
- Consider accessibility – are your comms accessible for people with dyslexia and sight problems?
- End with a call to action – minor or major, what do you want them to do now they’ve got the message?
- Check – and check it again.
Related: How-to: Risk versus Appetite
Image credit: “Communication” ©2007, Paul Shanks, Creative Commons.