IMAGINE how many unwanted messages you receive in your inbox each day; messages that you simply trash away without bothering to check. Yet some person at the other end of the chain is pampering themselves that they have done their job to communicate whatever it is they have at hand, so to speak. Is the golden age promised by the Internet for communicators over?
Or we are moving into an age where communication is increasingly becoming a cloud full of hot air. The jury is indeed out. And it will not take long to tell that most communication is this day and age achieves squat. It is really much ado about nothing and is concerned only with self-satisfaction rather than creating a dialogue. A movement in the human conscious.
In today’s fast-paced electronic world, it takes effective communication to get results. The pandora’s box is that while there are so many ways to communicate, making real communication has become quite an ardous task. All members are speaking at the same time, and attention spans have become so ephemeral – a click of a button easily dismisses the impact images and words are support to make.
Gone are the days of the silver bullets of communication where communication professionals simply assumed the information needs of recipients, neatly packaged content and then shot it out through predetermined channels.
Today, the recipients of information are much more empowered and question content. In some cases, recipients play an active role in shaping content. The democratization of the communication space has resulted in greater challenges for messages to reacg intended targets.
Of course, all forms of communication require a sender, a message, a channel, a context and an intended recipient, however the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender’s intent to communicate at the time of communication in order for the act of communication to occur.
But given the fluidity of the Internet, this day’s prized channel of communication, it is very difficult for communicators to determine or predict the context of communication. In this area, it is only ever-living content that makes a meaning to individual persons that will make the day. Because of the Internet’s inability to lose memory, it is increasingly critical for content to be structured in a manner that makes it ever fresh for potential audiences.
To get ahead and stay there in communication, it will take more than one tactic, one medium or one message. And therein is the challenge: everyone is bombarding audiences with messages. So while the customized and integrated communication approach is the in-thing, the question is, can it deliver results?
The way to go is to think beyond results, beyond the creation of information products. Rather, it’s important to think impact, that is, how to influence objectives, goals and initiatives. Simply put, there must be a measurable return on investment of time and money reflected in increased sales, awareness or support.
Curiosity, research and smarts are the bywords to achieving success in today’s communication environment. Everyone word written, every image created must contribute to effective communication for social change.