The Six Rules of Effective Communications: Rule Two

Effective communication - Goal setting

When approach­ing any type of writ­ing, we fol­low Hake’s six key rules to clear­er, more effec­tive and more engag­ing copy. Last week we looked at rule num­ber one: Know your audi­ence. This week we are look­ing at:

Rule Number Two: Set A Clear Goal

We all know that we should take the time to cre­ate clear strate­gies when it comes to our busi­ness­es and that doesn’t stop at com­mu­ni­ca­tions. But then nei­ther does the not doing what we know we should (quit look­ing at me like that, tread­mill). How­ev­er, tak­ing the time to prop­er­ly plan your com­mu­ni­ca­tion efforts and under­stand the objective(s) that you want it to achieve, real­ly will lead to more effec­tive content.

How?

Like any for­mal busi­ness strat­e­gy we must:

Analyse

Real­ly think about and question:

  • What the objec­tive of the com­mu­ni­ca­tion is
  • What infor­ma­tion you want your audi­ence to know
  • How you want your audi­ence to feel 
  • What you want your audi­ence to do 

Under­stand­ing this will com­plete­ly change the way you draft a com­mu­ni­ca­tion about an excit­ing new prod­uct launch, to com­mu­ni­ca­tion about the clos­ing of a busi­ness department. 

Strategise

Once you have analysed the pur­pose of the com­mu­ni­ca­tion, you need to set clear and defin­able goals, to help guide your writ­ing. SMART is the tried and test­ed way of set­ting goals and we’re not one to ques­tion that. Goals should be:

  • Specific

The more spe­cif­ic the goal, the eas­i­er it is to achieve through focused communication. 

  • Measurable

How do you know you’ve achieved your goal if you can’t mea­sure it. 

  • Achievable

Con­tent writ­ing can achieve a lot but ensure that it can achieve the goal in mind. 

  • Relevant

Is the goal rel­e­vant to what you want to achieve?

  • Time-bound

Set a defined time lim­it. It will keep you focused and give you a dead­line to work towards and mea­sure your suc­cess against. 

Clearer Communication

Under­stand­ing your goal by tak­ing the time to strate­gise and analyse, will enable you to design and cre­ate clean­er, clear­er and more effec­tive writing. 

 

Struggling to find the time to create goals for your business, let alone your writing?

A Way With Words is experienced at creating clear goals to produce engaging and effective copy – all from a laptop in Milton Keynes.

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