the secret formula of communication

This text was published in Diplomacy and Commerce editorial about communications, October 2019

Marketing, PR, and communications have gone a long way in the last few decades and it’s constantly changing. From one person talking to many through traditional communication channels (radio, tv, print), now we have switched to both ways communication and many talking to many, online and offline. It’s easier than ever to reach out to different people. Through older communication channels we are implementing new (digital) tools that allow the audience to ask questions, comment and talk back. Everyone has become a news outlet and “influencer” has become a profession.

In a world with too much information, where everyone is fighting for attention, how do you find the right voice? How do you stick out? How do you keep attention, not just get it? How do you make people love you (your brand)? How do you become known as competent or relevant in your field? How do you get people to follow you, to be part of your “tribe”, to listen to you and to want to hear more?

The answer to all these questions is a secret formula for communication. I can’t tell you the answers, because it won’t be a secret anymore. Just kidding, it’s not that I have all the answers, although we, as communication experts, like to pretend that we do. I will share with you some basic but crucial communication tips that are everlasting, regardless of all the changes that are happening and will happen and regardless of communication channels you decide to use based on who your target audience is.

Everlasting communication tips:

Give value. Be useful. People don’t like to read about you bragging about yourself. They don’t care about your product’s characteristics. They do care about the benefits they can have with your product or service. That’s what content marketing and native texts are all about and why they are popular while press releases became obsolete.

Care about your audience. This is connected to the previous point – don’t give value just because you want to get something from your audience but do it because you genuinely care. People can feel it and marketing and communications are a game of feelings.

Listen. This is connected to the previous point – you will show that you care when you listen, not just speak. Encourage engagement and two-way communication. Research shows that customers you have made mistake with and corrected it became more loyal than the ones you haven’t made a mistake with at all.

Be honest and authentic. Be you. – know what you and your company/brand stand for. Show that every time you interact with your audience. Do this in a way that even when they don’t see your logo, they could guess based on the way you speak that it’s your company behind it.

Be interesting. Use humor. Yes, even if you work in a corporate world (as do I), we don’t have to be always super formal and use all the corporate words and phrases. That is so last century. We live in social media time now. Whatever you are talking about, even if it is the most boring thing on the planet – find a way to make it interesting. Tell a story, use metaphors. Find a different angle to look at things, a different way to show/say something.

I hope this was useful. If that is the case, feel free to share it with friends and please sign up for my newsletter below this post.

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