Public Relations: Avoid these communication mistakes

enero 2, 2007

Alison Davis get it right with this recommendations:

1. Too long. 1,500 words is never the right length anymore. Neither is 1,000. People don’t have time to read that much content, especially on-line, but not in print vehicles, either. Long content turns people off before they even start. You’ve got to stop.

2. Too complex. The senior VP of Whatever may love complicated concepts, described in great detail, but no one else cares. As a matter of fact, they’re more likely to tune out if communication is too technical, jargon-laded, MBA-oriented. You know this already. Now you need to convince the subject matter expert or senior executive to simplify.

3. Too abstract. What is quality, anyway? Innovation? Customer service? Abstract terms that I can’t picture—unless you bring them to life by showing examples, telling stories, making them tangible. (Like my “friend” example in the first paragraph.) If your communication is abstract, employees won’t connect.

4. Word-based. We’re living in a You Tube world, where people can download television shows, songs, photos, audio snippets—anything you can imagine. That’s why writing alone doesn’t seem very dynamic. Can you make it visual? Can you make it move? Can you bring it to life?

5. Poorly timed. If you’re communicating initiatives that start six or 18 months from now, employees will hit the delete button right now. This is a just-in-time universe. People prize immediacy; it needs to make sense to what I’m doing today. Get the timing right.


My two cents:

6. No goals, then you won’t know you deliver. Even if communication is somewhat intangible, it has to have concrete ways to measure it, if not you won’t now how big is your success and what you can do to improve in the future. Everybody loves good results, it the best way to know that you delivered!

7. No resources, no results. And I mean resources, not only money. Web 2.0 start ups are doing great with little or no marketing budget at all. Nevertheless they have huge resources to support the business and use them to excel the product and they have the time to listen to their users, journalists, venture capitalists, etc. Some times just a little time listening could do much more than quick bucks.

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