Communication is one of the fundamental elements of any organization, irrespective of industry.
Whether you’re working in tech, manufacturing, healthcare, construction, logistics, not-for-profit – or anything in-between - effective communication is a significant factor in your company’s success - the better the communication, the better the productivity and business results.
Internal communication practitioners continue to talk about change and the need for more respect; but we need to actively step into delivering internal communication expertise differently.
That means focusing on more than implementation. We need to interact and understand our audience; integrate to connect communication to strategy; influence how our organizations, leaders and employees communicate and behave; and eventually impact business results.”
- Priya Bates,
Strategic Advisor, Sparrow Connected
We all know verbal communication is often easier to understand because your audience can make eye contact, see your emotions and hear your tone. But when it comes to written communication, you’re relying 100% on written words to do all the talking.
So, how do you communicate effectively through written words?
Priya Bates, Strategic Advisor at Sparrow Connected, and award-winning internal communication professional shares “The 5 Cs of Communication” that serve as a good reminder of how to communicate effectively in written form, even for the most seasoned internal communications professionals.
When you communicate in writing, it’s usually replacing a face-to-face opportunity. Whether you are writing an email, memo, business report, blog, status update, information/instruction for employees, or tweet, ensure that the reader hears your voice and feels they are being talked with versus talked at.
- Don’t use language you wouldn’t use in face-to-face conversation or presentation
- Ask the recipient questions - Keep it friendly and respectful
- Use personal examples
- Talk about issues that you are knowledgeable about
It’s important to use language that is clear. This is not about showing people how intelligent you are but about helping your audience understand and respond appropriately. Remember that some of the world’s most inspiring speeches were spoken by highly educated speakers using everyday language.
- If a short word does the job, use it
- Use active versus passive language
- Break information into bite-sized pieces using appropriate headings, sub-headings, bullets, and indentations
- Limit the use of jargon, acronyms and abbreviations
- if used, make sure you explain them the first time
How can you say what you want to say in the fewest words possible? People are short on time, so they appreciate those who communicate effectively and efficiently.
- Edit your work
- Avoid repetition
- Avoid run-on sentences. Try to limit it to one thought per sentence.
Your writing should flow and feel connected. It shouldn’t seem like a series of random thoughts.
- Have a clear topic
- Ensure the reader can transition effortlessly from one point to the next.
Allow your reader to focus on your content versus your spelling and grammar.
- Provide enough time to edit your work.
- Spellcheck is great but ensure that autocorrect hasn’t changed your word to one that doesn’t make sense.
- For larger, more permanent projects, have someone else review your work
- Read your work from your audience’s point of view.
Conversational, Clear, Concise, Connected, and Correct
Give these 5Cs of communication a try on the next few internal communications you send out and see If you notice any improvements in performance like more views or more comments.
How does our own language impact our own brand and reputation? Find out here.