10 Rules of Effective Communication

It's Not What You Say! It's What People Hear!

If you’re a digital/social media marketer or a blogger, you should have these 10 rules down packed. These are crucial when it comes to social communication and how you can spread a message online. Dr. Frank Luntz wrote a book in 2007 called, “Words That Work. It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear,” where he highlights the Ten Rules of Effective Communication. Although Luntz writes in the context of political and corporate messaging, I found his rules helpful for everyday communication, especially for digital marketers, bloggers, community managers, etc.



Rule #1 – Simplicity: Use Small Words
Nobody wants to read pages and pages and pages of long descriptive information that is difficult to understand and time consuming. Get to the point and make it easy to read, even for an 8th grader.

Rule #2 – Brevity

Similarly, you don’t want to use long, run-on sentences that require the reader to remember a few things in order to make sense of the final message. Again, get to the point, then get to the next point.

Rule #3 – Creditability 

Credit your sources! There’s nothing wrong with using someone else’s content! Just because you didn’t come up with an idea or take a particular picture doesn’t won’t make you look bad. What will make you look bad is if someone catches their own content on a blog you post. So make sure you give proof and credit everything that is not yours.

Rule #4 – Consistency

Remain consistent across all social platforms. If you’re tone and voice on Twitter is energetic or adventurous, for example, viewers should see that same personality on Facebook. Stick to a single idea, image, voice and tone.

Rule #5 – Novelty

Audiences are easily bored and you might need to toss in some unexpected words in your content to get their attention again. You have to continue to give them something new.

Rule #6 – Evocative 

Sound and Texture matter. The phrase “Snap, Crackle and Pop!” immediately conjures up images not just of Kelloggs Rice Krispies, but of the actual sound of the cereal itself.

Rule #7 – Aspiration

Throw in some emotion in your content. I mean, if a post didn’t inform me, make me happy, make me cry or make me mad then I probably wouldn’t continue to read it. You need to remember that people will forget what you say, but they won’t forget how you made them feel. Take a look at Budweiser’s Puppy Commercial, for example. They hit that happy spot dead on!

Rule #8 – Visualization

Such a simple rule! Paint a picture with your words. When readers are reading through your content, they should be able to have an image in mind. Luntz argues that, “the slogans we remember for a lifetime almost always have a strong visual component, something we can see and almost feel.”

Rule #9 – Ask Questions

What better way to engage and involve your audience in your content? By asking questions you invite engagement, and I really hope as a marketer/blogger that’s what you want.

Rule #10 – Provide Context and Relevance

Bring meaning and value to your content. Just as Luntz says, “You have to give people the ‘why’ of the message before you tell them the ‘therefore’ and ‘so that’. Without context, you cannot establish a message’s value, its impact, or most importantly, its relevance.”

What do you think? Are these great content-marketing/communication tactics?

Kayla

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterGoogle+0Share on LinkedIn0Email to someone
Share this