Last week we discussed the frustration many people are feeling these days with trying to be heard through the ever increasing communications noise. It seemed to strike a chord as we had quite a few comments making for an excellent conversation.
For the last several years my primary strategy for cutting through the noise has been to try to make our communication as clear and interesting as we possibly can.
- Provide valuable insight and information
- Write better headlines
- Keep the copy short and interesting
- Write with an informal, personal tone
- Format text for skimming
- Spice up content with images
- Publish on a consistent schedule
But, I’ve come to the conclusion that’s not enough anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, those things are still important. They just aren’t enough to ensure our communication is going to be seen.
Content is no longer king
I miss great content all the time. Some I skip intentionally. Some I just miss in the rapidly moving streams of updates in Twitter and Facebook. Some I put in my “to read” file and never get to. I don’t even read all of the content from my absolute favorite bloggers. There’s just too much.
But there is some communication that I almost never miss. Here are 3 types that come to mind.
- Email from my family, the OurChurch.Com team and the leaders of my church.
- Facebook notifications that someone has commented on a status update or pictures I posted.
- Tweets from a small group of people I have on my most checked Twitter list.
What do these all have in common? They all come from people I have close personal relationships with.
Relationships are King
The bottom line is we listen to our friends.
If you want to be heard through the noise, focus on developing stronger friendships with the people in your community.
And remember, people don’t develop friendships with organizations, the develop friendships with people. If you communicating on behalf of an organization, get out from behind the org name and logo. Put a name and a face to your organization’s communications.
What do you think? Do you listen more intently to your friends or to good content?
What can we do to develop stronger, more personal relationships with the people we are trying to communicate with.