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My communications credo

September 24, 2012

frames

What you put inside is your message. Make it museum-worthy.

Everything I do in communication comes from this set of principles. Everything.

Follow up with people. Preferably within 24 to 48 hours.

Don’t worry about losing followers (subscribers, commenters, etc.). Focus on sharing things that are informative, interesting or funny. You will gain more than you lose over time.

What does this story (tweet, blog post, email, infographic) mean to the reader? Always stay focused on the audience.

Listen carefully. Don’t interrupt.

Be yourself. People will either accept you or reject you, but the latter won’t kill you.

Have something to say. Blogging (tweeting, talking) for the sake of blogging puts you in the mediocre majority.

Tell a story. A compelling story can be more attractive than a sermon, a screed or even a list (yes, even this one).

Be succinct. Respect your audience’s time.

Attribute, don’t steal. Summarize, don’t plagiarize. Link to appropriate material.

Edit carefully and thoroughly.

Practice presentations and speeches. Then practice some more. Then even more.

When speaking to an audience, connect with them through eye contact and interaction, not notes and slides.

When speaking to the media, take time to think out your answers. Don’t fear silence, even on live television or radio.

Thank people for their input, whether praise or criticism. They took time to think about your message and responded.

People are imperfect. Keep that in mind when others (or you) fall short in communicating effectively.

Photo: Bart Everson (CC)

What’s in your communications credo? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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