Lost in translation in communication?
Two of the most important attributes in corporate communication are coherence and consistency. These factors determine whether and how messages are effective across various channels. How can one ensure that communication remains clear and trustworthy?
What is coherence and consistency in communication?
Coherence in communication refers to the structural quality of content. When the content logically fits together, coherence is high. On the other hand, consistency relates to the aesthetic and narrative quality of content. When content is perceived as interconnected across different channels, consistency is high.
Why are coherency and consistency essential in corporate communications?
The main reason is that budgets are limited. If customers or partners do not understand the content or perceive it as disjointed, the effectiveness of the efforts diminishes. This requires a larger budget to achieve similar effects. Therefore, in communication, it is crucial to be understandable and build trust.
Focus on the essentials.
In general, when communication fails in personal situations, it often occurs because too many things are being discussed simultaneously. This is similar in corporate communication. The issue arises from the fact that people have limited attention spans, influenced by their surroundings and state of mind. Effective communication takes this into account and aligns with the needs of the target audience.
However, it’s incredibly challenging to say less and especially say the right things. Therefore, it’s crucial to structure and prioritize messages in corporate communication according to target audiences.
An analytical approach: logic and structure in corporate communications.
When there’s a lot to communicate – which is almost always the case – it helps to categorize the content into distinct areas. Determine which content needs to be communicated at what time and through which channel. The trick is to put yourself in the audience’s shoes and understand when and where they will encounter which message and what action they should take as a result.
Sometimes, it can be helpful to assign imaginary places to your content. Which part of the story would you tell at the entrance door, and which part in the kitchen?
Distributing messages via analogue and digital channels – a task for experts.
Visual design systems are instrumental in telling cohesive stories across different channels, provided they are used correctly. A clear brand narrative assists in disseminating messages across various channels while maintaining a consistent theme. However, it’s essential to consider the specific requirements of each channel concerning text length, reading times, reader behavior, viewing behavior, and expectations regarding visual content.
Engaging experts to construct communication strategies across diverse channels ensures that these strategies can be managed and maintained by you and your team in the future. This approach allows you to retain control over your content, enabling effective communication with your audience.
Lastly, get feedback!
Regardless of your company’s current stage in communication, make sure to test your content and stories early and consistently. Ultimately, feedback helps enhance your communication efforts. One of the costliest mistakes in communication work is sharing content, messages, or information with others too late or investing too much time in something that doesn’t yield desired results.
Therefore, engage with your target audience. Share your stories and ideas with colleagues or trusted individuals, and ask for their understanding. It’s nearly impossible to perceive oneself as incoherent, and with increasing feedback, you enhance the consistency of your communication.