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Effective Communication: Keep it simple (Part 2)

Image credit: iStockphoto

In approaching mass marketing campaigns, so often, the communication focus is on reaching as many people as possible with our message or our client’s message… so much so that the underlying objective of understanding is lost. How do we get to them? Where are they already going to be? What are other ways we can reach them? Got that? Great. Now, let’s get them the message. And frequently, there’s a lot to say. We want people to know about the company, what the company is doing, that there’s a great promotion or initiative happening, and why people won’t want to miss out. Throw into the mix dates, locations, rules, participating partners, sponsors, prizes or donation opportunity, and even celebrity endorsement. But don’t forget the overall brand message… and campaign message. Oh, and also the partner sponsor brand and campaign messages too.

And that’s usually only the baseline of informational requirements. That’s already a lot.

It’s critical never to forget that although we want to reach people and get the information we want them to receive when we do – most often, less is more. Or actually, simplicity is key. Managing to fit all of the various points we want people to know doesn’t mean they will receive it when they see, hear, or read it. How do you ensure someone will walk away not only having been exposed to your message amongst all the other people and companies trying to get their messages out, but understanding it in the way you had intended it? You can’t, but you can certainly make it easier for them.

What are the one or two ideas you want someone to walk away with, and more importantly, if you could make it happen – what would you want them to do? That’s what should be in your communication, and everything about your design should support this. Your core idea and what you want someone to do with it.

A firehose of information is overwhelming and can result in more harm than good. Chances are people won’t listen to or read your full ad or write-up, or worse, get confused by it. The small act of keeping things simple – although easier said than done – can make all the difference, and well worth the effort.

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