I once heard a simple phrase from a dear friend who is a PR phenom. He said “communications is about the receiver, not the sender.” I took awhile to think that through. So much of modern communication… TikTok, Insta, LinkedIn, and most social … seems to be stuck on the creator and how they “come off”. Likewise, an awful lot of corporate comms these days, and even general screen entertainment (what used to be “movies”) are sender first. A distant second is the receiver, and how they enjoy what’s on offer.
That’s ass backwards.
Communications is about reaching people, and in business (as opposed to say, comedy) keeping their interest on the topic is key. In order to do that, try to follow some simple rules;
- Is it honest? Simple concept. It’s crucial to have a handle on the facts- rather than just offering an opinion- before wading in to a communications piece. No matter if that’s a blog post, a video, or a news release. Take the time to get it as straight as you can, in the time allowed.
- Is it timely? There’s really no use, and little value, to sitting on things until all circumstances are perfect. And while some facts may have to follow, getting it out sooner than later earns a respect that grows in time. “All news quickly, but bad news quicker” is a worthwhile credo.
- Is it useful? Piles of useless content are no way to win or keep followers. While it’s all good to practice the craft, it wont stick unless it helps someone do something better, avoid something bad, or maybe inspire something great.
- Do I want to see more? We have this rule at restaurants “a) nice to see once- or b) I would go back”. The latter have done something- many things- that made us say wow, that was pretty good. With communications, over time, unless people have a reason to learn more from you, they will inevitably look away.
“Communications is about the receiver, not the sender”, is a great reminder.
For more on the PR phenom I mention, here is his page.