Why communications matters

Why communications matters

Lately I’ve found myself thinking about all my inhouse comms colleagues out there who are trying to persuade expert colleagues to get their messages out more effectively.

There’s an inevitable tension between good policy/strategy/clinical practice/research/ [delete as appropriate] and effective communication. Debate between the two sides *can* be really productive. Where it acknowledges the insight and expertise on both sides, this can lead to content that includes all the detail and nuance but still hits the spot.

But too often, the views of the policy experts/clinicians/researchers/strategists hold more sway. These individuals– with their academic writing styles, or in-depth interest in, and understanding of, an issue– end up calling the shots. The result– dry, technical content landing in the inboxes of audiences that don’t share their level of interest or understanding.

It’s not easy to see why it doesn’t have the desired impact.

As a writer, it’s crucial to step outside of yourself and into the world of your audience. How are they feeling? What do they need? What do they like/dislike? This will help you select framing, tone of voice and other elements that will resonate with them.

Most experts find this very hard because when you’re deep in a subject you can’t see the wood for the trees. That’s where those comms colleagues come in– as a bridge between the expert and their audience.

The best work happens when experts explain what they need and then set back to let comms colleagues do their jobs! I’ve worked with so many highly respected people who are great at doing this. Where this doesn’t happen, it tends to be an organisation-wide issue that requires leadership, clarity and systems.

Organisational reputation is at stake, so it’s worth standing up for good communications.

2560 1707 Articulate Health