The three questions a prospective client is thinking (if not asking) are: Who are you? What do you want? What’s in it for me? The last one’s the kicker.
trust and transparency
We all know words have power. Take the vocabulary of incarceration – the stigmatizing way we speak about people who have served time. Studies show that the words we choose – “felon,” “ex-convict” or “ex-offender” – present a significant barrier to reintegration.
Whether you provide a professional writing service or you write because your boss tells you to, new and revealing data about how your brain works can guide you. One example: using positive language is beneficial to the brain and helps you avoid confusion and penetrate your target audience.
An obituary got me thinking. The obituary announced the death of renowned Arkansas poet Miller Williams, who was celebrated for using everyday language in his verse. The short poem cited in the piece – titled “Compassion” – moved me, as it did Miller’s daughter, the country singer Lucinda Williams, who used her father’s spare lines in a song:
Every Tuesday I look forward to the New York Times’s weekly section on science. But a recent edition stopped me cold, because it pointed to some serious communication challenges about our understanding of health and disease.
With social and traditional media burning up with all kinds of questionable information and messages, it’s a good time to make sure you’re targeting your communications to the people you want to reach. Can you visualize that person, understand his or her needs and frustrations, and address them? If so, you’ll have a much better chance to connect and they’ll be willing to listen.
But in today’s hyped-up media world, you also have to address and overcome the fine art of baloney detection, a term coined by the late, great public scientist Carl Sagan, who shared his thoughts about upholding reason in the face of shameless untruths and propaganda.