How to Communicate Better

Communication is key to the success in your organization.

When my daughter was young, we signed her up for dance lessons. Being a working parent, I often had my husband drop her off and pick her up. But then we discovered we were missing out on important information: dates, deadlines, and such. I hadn’t seen a notice or an email, and didn’t understand why. Until I realized…the dance school ONLY communicated via something tacked up to the bulletin board IN THE LOBBY. If I didn’t drop her off or pick her up, I was out of luck in terms of knowing the information. And guess what? She no longer attends that school, because it didn’t work for our lifestyle.

You need to communicate what you offer, why you matter, information about specials and events, and more. But today, more than ever, different people prefer to be contacted in different ways. If you’ve got a family, consider how you reach everyone: you call grandma, you email your spouse, you text your teens, and you might share in person with your youngest kids. They may all need to know that dinner is at 6, but the way you tell everyone hinges on how best to get the message to them.

The same holds true for your business or nonprofit. Communication is not a one size fits all endeavor, no matter how much easier that might be. Rather, you need to figure out how your customers, members and prospects prefer to hear from you. And then design communications so that they get the message.

When planning your communications strategy, use this method to make it easier:

  1. Consider who you want to reach, and roughly how old they are.
  2. Determine how people in that age group prefer to communicate. (The chart in this article is a good place to start figuring that out.)
  3. Decide what you want them to know.
  4. Create a communications plan that takes into account the communications preferences of the people who you want to reach, outlining how you will create and share the message by generation.

Communications is key to success. But you can’t just communicate the way YOU prefer to find things out, or the way that’s easiest for you. Rather, you must be mindful of the way people want to hear from you if you want to be successful.

How do you prefer to be contacted? How do you share information about your organization? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

Jennifer Fong

Jennifer Fong is the Founder and CEO of Jen Fong Media, a full service digital marketing firm that helps direct selling companies, businesses, service providers and non-profits reach the people online who can help their organizations grow. We believe in marketing with integrity, building the relationships that matter and approaching marketing from a standpoint of service. For information on how Jen Fong Media can help your organization, please visit us online at http://jenfongmedia.com.

2 Comments

  1. Email was the way I wanted to communicate and tried an electronic newsletter. BUT less than 25% of customers opened it and of that number no one clicked on the articles.Young customers don’t answer the phone or respond to emails but prefer texting. Older customers like phone calls. Overall I get a better response with snail mail. It’s a mixed bag.

    • You bring up an interesting point, Bernice. So few people snail mail anymore that handwritten personal notes sent through the postal service have almost no competition for attention and are almost always opened. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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