I love going to a fine restaurant with my wife. I hate having to raise my voice to be heard across a small table in a popular, crowded restaurant — the din at dinner. You yell to be heard, thus contributing to the crescendo. The next table yells louder. A pleasant two-way conversation becomes a competitive yelling match in an attempt to be heard. Getting your company’s message out in a crowded, noisy marketplace is similar to the scenario I just described. You push your story to customer, media, conference, blog, analyst and investment communities and the competition pushes their story. You “yell” louder; they “holler” louder. To the customer it is merely noise. You’re not being heard.
If you work for a large, decentralized, global company like I do, with communications teams from complex business groups, diverse regions and countless countries all “communicating” to the customer, the challenge is far greater, because the large “family” seated at your “table” is often shouting different and competing messages. Now you have a competitive yelling match within your own company and what the customer hears is your noise among the noise of the marketplace.
If you want your message to be heard and have impact, your company must have a single voice and a compelling story.
In this workshop, I’ll describe how this disparity of messages was creating inconsistency and ineffectiveness in our communications, and confusion among our customers and third parties who shape their impressions. I’ll share with you how we developed new company positioning, a comprehensive messaging framework and a simple, focused story to speak with one voice around the world. It’s hard work that must be done if you want to be heard.
I’d prefer to discuss this over dinner in a nice restaurant … but it would be too noisy.
Are you having similar challenges?By John Curtis, director, corporate executive communications & messaging. Join Curtis for his workshop “Single Voice, Greater Impact” on Sunday, October 21.