The explosion of digital and offline touchpoints has meant that crafting corporate communications is more complex than ever. After recently hosting seminars on ‘cutting through the noise’, PwC’s The Difference – Creative Comms shares its top tips on how to connect with key audiences, whether navigating new business strategy, major change or complex messaging.
These days, delivering corporate messages that stick can be a serious challenge. In the last few years, the explosion of digital and offline touchpoints has meant that crafting targeted, relevant communications that connect with your audience is more complex than ever.
At PwC’s The Difference – Creative Comms, the vast majority of client engagements are focused on how to produce creative, considered corporate communications that change the way people think, work, act and connect. These assist in navigating new business strategy, major change or any complex messaging challenge.
In recent weeks, Creative Comms has hosted over 200 executives across Melbourne and Sydney for Comms Lab – a thought leadership series offering practical tips for cutting through the noise. Here’s our compilation of the most powerful takeaways from Comms Lab 2016.
It’s important to remember that communication that’s easy to understand shouldn’t be patronising and that the rate at which your message will be adopted is based on how simple it is. This goes double for the digital world – one in which users’ growing sophistication and short attention spans mean that the ability to distil complex communications into a pithy, relevant message is your most powerful asset.
It’s equally critical to experiment with formats that engage users and tell a story succinctly. Videos, infographics and interactive content can help you cut through the clutter with maximum impact and minimum noise.
Although vagueness risks creating fear we all appreciate the courage it takes to tell the truth – especially about bad news. If a leader is honest about the fact that staff members will be reduced but explains the why, when and how with empathy and respect, people are more likely to accept the change.
The rise of social media spaces such as Twitter and Facebook has also meant that corporate communicators are increasingly accountable to their audience and must be prepared to address their concerns. A lack of transparency or failure to reveal information can see a PR disaster unfold on social media in real time.
Communicating early can help to bring people on board and involve them from the start. But you can communicate too much too early – which can create anxiety, disinterest or apathy – and you can definitely communicate too late – causing resentment, mistrust or confusion.
When it comes to communicating via online channels such as social media or email marketing, your ability to convey your message in a timely manner can determine your audience’s engagement levels. It can also make or break the chances that your message will be well received.
People are more receptive to communication when they can take immediate action, so incorporate feedback forms, dedicated email address or other feedback tool as part of your campaign. Allowing for a two-way conversation makes a process seem more engaging and fair to all involved.
Generic communications that read as if they were written by an anonymous member of your company should be avoided at all costs.
Whether you’re sending a targeted email campaign to your database or distributing marketing collateral to potential shareholders, personalised touches such as including the recipient’s name, adding a handwritten note or simply incorporating language that is warm, authentic and human is your best chances at reaping results.
These days, each piece of corporate communication should be treated as a chance to build a relationship with your audience and spark brand engagement, loyalty and trust. Failure to treat prospects like individuals can hurt your brand presence – as well as your bottom line.
If you hope to communicate effectively with your audience, offering context is a pivotal part of conveying your message in a way that provides clarity and resonates with your audience. This applies to both online and offline comms.
Visual tools are an excellent way of achieving this: graphics could be used to highlight connections between key messages, or short videos could provide a narrative that contextualises information.
To see the full Creative Comms Top 10 Tips or to sign up for future Comms Lab events, visit www.commslab2016.com.