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So, do you communicate in harmony?

by on 5 Nov, 2013

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You don’t have to be a fan of “The Choir” to appreciate that many voices, when skillfully and professionally combined, can be truly uplifting and beautifully harmonious…

Sadly, the reverse is equally true – the discordant noisy clamour of many voices trying to be heard is confusing, disorientating, and usually very unpleasant…

So, maybe it’s time to think about the many and varied ways that your organisation communicates.

Website, brochures, social media, marketing campaigns, over the telephone, via emails, reports, recruitment ads, proposals, etc, etc…

What do these really have in common, other than your brand name?

Do they employ a similar tone-of-voice? Have you then moderated your tone, or volume, according to the specific channels you’re using? Does your communication focus on your audience’s point of view? How well do your messages reflect your stated aims and values?  Are they integrated, reinforcing and complementary?

Of course the answer is probably no. They do not, and are not.

This means that members of your audience – prospects, customers, staff, stakeholders… – have to define their own version of your “genuine” identity or brand personality. To achieve this, they will refer to their own expectations, their own experiences, the broader context (including your competitors) and of course the actual messages you are sending out.

In other words, without proper harmony, you run the real risk of actively reducing the control you have over your own messages. And the impact they will have.

By leaving the responsibility for communication with a distributed – and often disparate – group of colleagues, many businesses erode the truth of their messages. One voice, shouting to be heard over another.

There are some notable exceptions. Orange were once great at harmonising, and fabulous at customer service, and enjoyed huge commercial success as an indirect result. Virgin of course don’t to too badly at all. Some banks try hard, and often fail even harder.

It’s the ones that get it right that really stand out. Innocent Drinks is a very good example of a large organisation that pays attention to every word they say, print or post, and it’s no accident they have nurtured a loyal following. Everything they say reads – and sounds – like it has been created by one person, one voice. And remember this is a premium product, with premium pricing. They clearly believe in rewarding their audiences with a warm and cosy feeling of recognition and belonging. The products taste great too, which always helps!

So why not have a browse through your own messages, and see how easy it is to guess the right tune. If you find this tricky, imagine how your audiences must feel.

If you want to become pitch perfect, let us teach you how.

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