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The Art Of Communicating

Tuesday 27 March, 2007
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of communication is: "The art of imparting news and information". And it is an art. And as with all arts, it can be learned, and refined and analysed and monitored and measured and, perhaps eventually, perfected.

The art of communication involves the transmission of information from one source to another to convey a specific message in order to elicit a desired reaction or result. Communications strategies and plans therefore focus on delivering messages effectively to obtain specific results.

The success of firms such as yours may be based on developing relationships with clients and other key stakeholders. Respect and exceptional customer service go a long way towards maintaining successful relationships. But the ability to clearly, concisely, precisely and effectively communicate with clients and with each other, as well as to understand other people's ideas and effectively implement them, is paramount to business success.

The evidence of effectively communicating with clients, target clients, media, staff and other audiences is in the results achieved as a direct outcome of the messages communicated.

Components of effective communication

The message

The delivery of a clear and precise message should be your goal.
When developing your message consider the key aspects or key points to be broadcast. If you are expecting certain actions, reactions or results as an outcome of your message being delivered, then you need to ensure that you have clearly stated your expectations.

Target audience

You need to clearly define your target audience and decide to whom you need to communicate your key messages. When considering your target audience while scripting your messages, your messages are likely to be more effectively communicated, because they will be developed for a specific group of people and so the tone, content, language, details, etc are likely to be acutely relevant because they are audience specific. We all suffer from an information overload on most days, so pass on information on a need-to-know basis.

Method of dissemination

Adapt the style of your message to suit the medium. When determining the medium of dissemination, consider the message itself as well as the target audience, and then identify the optimal means to convey your message. While the message itself is of primary importance, if the medium of transmission is off mark, then the message may be lost and the desired outcome forfeited.

The reaction

Audience reaction is a key indicator whether your message has been effectively communicated and understood. If your message contains a call to action, then the reaction you receive should include an intention to perform the required task. In the event that a message is communicated ineffectively, then the audience reaction may be one of confusion, misunderstanding, inaction, etc.

The result

You know that you have communicated effectively, when you get the desired result. In actual terms, you will know your message has been fully understood by your target audience because the necessary action has been taken. Quite literally, the results will speak for themselves.

Author Credits

Rebecca Laskary, Director, Profile Public Relations. Rebecca is a communications specialist whose career has developed rapidly through a number of positions in the corporate, non-for-profit and public sectors, in Australia and overseas. For further information please Email: contact@profilepublicrelations.com.au or visit the Web site: www.ProfilePublicRelations.com.au
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