The Revolution in Business Communications

It certainly sounds dramatic. A ‘revolution’, after all, is not just a small change from the status quo but a dramatic shift from what went before. 
 
And a revolution is not what you would normally associate with something as anodyne as business communications. Yet, I would argue, there has been a dramatic shift in the way we communicate in business over the last five years or so, driven largely by social media.

BY Neil Stoneham, Managing Director - Voxtree

 
 
 
Dull and stuffy ‘management speak’–  talk of leveraging, strategizing and thinking outside the box – is on its way out. Today, we get engaged by communications that are more informal and conversational. 
 
Companies like Facebook, Google and LinkedIn are leading the charge. Many of them run by millennials (young people who have next to no memory of life without the Internet), they represent the changing face of the way we communicate in business and in our private lives. 
 
If you want to sound like a modern business – and it’s hugely important that you do if you want to stay in business – then you need to make sure you connect with your audience in the best possible way. 
 
Hard sell is a turn off these days, and most people can see through it. Instead, we want to find out about brands through stories and interactive media. That’s not to say older media is dead. But it is changing in a big way.
 
So how do you adapt your communications, so that you can tap into this new way of thinking? 
 
In brief, here are 7 ways to make your business communications connect with a modern audience:
 
 

1. Be clear and concise

Many people use tablets or smartphones to access online media these days. If we have to read your communications twice to get the message, it’s more than likely we will click away.
 

2. Be creative

Try not to ape your competitors. Aim to stand out and do things differently. To quote Mr. Jobs – “stay foolish”.
 

3. Tell stories

Storytelling is guaranteed to make your message more memorable and resonate with your audience in an emotional way.
 

4. Have a conversation

People expect to be able to interact with your brand these days. If you have a good conversation with your prospects – say, on social media –  they will be more likely to buy from you at some point. 
 

5. Focus on people, not just the business

People buy from people, so the saying goes. Remember to keep your communications human – that means using the active voice over the passive, and appealing to what people want, rather that what your business wants.
 

6. Humour

There are times when it’s good to lighten up. As long as it’s appropriate and not offensive, humour creates the feel good factor and is a great way to engage.
 

7. Speak from the heart

Why do you do what you do? What makes you passionate about your product or service? That’s what people want to know, and it’s much easier to connect with. Just saying you’re ‘passionate’ doesn’t cut it. Prove it. 
 
It’s an exciting time to be in the communications industry. As the world gets smaller, the way we communicate is adapting to the new technologies at our disposal. 
 
While it’s not always ideal – think vicious online trolls or people posting pics of their breakfast – we’re dealing with a new paradigm in much the same way as people did with the invention of the telephone, radio and television. 
 
We’re still getting to grips with how to communicate most effectively on the Internet. But as the revolution takes shape, we can’t afford to let our businesses fall behind.
 
 
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