How to get best impact from your communication
– By Hansjuerg Moser, LIN Skilled Volunteer
Here’s an amazing statistic: The average person receives 63,000 words of new information every day. That’s about the length of a novel. The cascade comes in the form of e-mails, newsletters, the printed press, advertisements, posters, tweets, Facebook updates and a zillion further ways we consume information these days. “If you had this crazy idea and wanted to read everything you got in 2011,” says Robby Walker, an expert who calculated the words-per-day statistic, “it would take you the first three months of 2012.”
The so-called Information overload is a term popularized by Alvin Toffler, an American writer and futurist, in his bestselling 1970 book Future Shock. It refers to the growing difficulties persons can have in perceiving and processing this information avalanche in a conscious and also unconscious way, caused by the overwhelming presence of content in every form. This results in a decline of efficiency and impact of communication. People are more selective than ever, focusing only on information they really are interested in. They react to cues and eye-catchers. No way to get real attention, understanding and comprehension from people, if you just communicate chatting and tattling.
You, as every communicator, have to deal with this reality. No matter if you design your website, write a Newsletter, send an email, work on a presentation or prepare a meeting: be aware that your audience is exposed every day to this flood of words, numbers, pictures, drawings, symbols, logos.
So, if you want that your messages are read, heard, understood and that you get the best possible impact, consider some basic rules of communication as mentioned below in form of some keywords.
Your communication should be:
Before working on your message, define:
– Your purpose: what is the “heart” of your message, what should adhere in the mind of the recipients, which will the behavior of your target group be.
– Your goals: what do you want to achieve with your message, which reaction should it trigger.
– Your audience and its characteristics (language, knowledge, status, )
Then focus your communication precisely on these facts. Ask others about their impression before releasing.
Be as precise as possible. Avoid meaningless fillers. Every word has to be clear and intentionally chosen. Sentences should provoke a surprise. The content should be captivating and convincing.
Do not add unnecessary, featureless, disturbing, confusing pictures, symbols, ornaments, drawings to your message, even if you find them nice and charming. Design your message as a compact and clear unity.
Nonprofits need to do more to integrate their entire communication with their overall strategy and their fundraising work with their advocacy and campaigning. Donors want one coherent image and relationship with the organization they support, not multiple, different, confusing messages. So, use every channel you have but in a coordinate way to communicate and consider the different requirements of each media to present your messages in a suitable form.