I can’t hear you – you’re shouting too loud

29 Mar

(Guest Post by Deirdre Campbell of the Tartan Group)

Ever notice that if you slow down, lower your voice and ask questions of someone, they answer?

In this day of over-communication, too many people think the way to get your message across is “louder, faster, harder”.  “BUY NOW”, “LIMITED TIME ONLY” “YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO WAIT”, WHAT YOU NEED IS TO….”   Good communications is not about talking or yelling your ideas to someone in the hopes that they understand – – it is about listening to someone’s thoughts and ideas and saying them back to them in your own words, to ensure you truly understood what they said BEFORE you jump in with your own opinion or answer.

The number one frustration journalists have with PR people is they receive information that has nothing to do with what they report on.  PR people are shouting at them rather than listening.  The term “pitch” is a dirty word which many media hate. It implies what typically happens, story ideas are thrown at them in the hopes that they stick. They rarely do.

So good communications is not about pushing out ideas: it is about pulling in quality information, so that you can provide the best level of support.  A line in a recent book I read sums it up well: ” She listened 10 times more than she talked”.


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