Words of the communications businessWhen I ask, what language do you speak? I don’t mean language in the classic sense of English, Spanish or Chinese; although that is relevant and an important element of your business. I am referring to the words and phrases used to describe your products and services.

One of the biggest risks for a business is miscommunication, and in my experience, it can also be the most commonly made mistake. Miscommunication can lead to confusion about products and services, or to campaigns that don’t engage the audience or lead to sales.

So why, if we as owners and experts in our sectors, are we falling short? It’s simple, we use the wrong words.

More often than not, we think in the language of our industry, sector or specialism, and forget that others use the same words for very different things, and some don’t use them at all. How many times have you looked for a new product, or started a new job, and been bombarded with a pile of acronyms you don’t understand?

We are all guilty of speaking in our own language from time to time, even when we try really hard not to. We are programmed by our education and our experience to use the words which come most naturally to us and our environments

I use the word communications to mean the whole story; the narrative, message, language and methods an organisation uses to engage. This includes engagement with its customers, stakeholders, employees and the wider world, including; PR, marketing, sales, etc. – it is literally everything you say and do. Others use communications to describe the corporate message or the telecommunications used.

My advice.

  • Take some time to review what you say before you say it or send it.
  • Think about what words and descriptions your customers would use and,
  • keep things simple. You will connect with more people and avoid a lot of miscommunication.

Alternatively, get in touch to organise a one to one session to help you re-discover your language.


Author Amy.Bell

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