You can’t over communicate…or can you?

As a marketer, I’ve always tended to think that we can’t over communicate. Consumers, and even existing members, need to hear your message multiple times before it really sinks in. While I still believe this basic premise is true, I’ve recently been on the receiving end of what I would consider “over communication.”

My three children now attend two different schools and the sheer volume and length of the informational messages I receive has made me re-think my own communications. Nightly (yes nightly) automated calls now inform me of upcoming events at one school and extremely long emails (I mean so long I lose track of what the email is about) from the PTA arrive nearly daily from the other school.

Now don’t get me wrong, I want to know what is happening at my kids’ schools. In fact one of the main reasons I became a consultant was to have the flexibility to be more involved with their schools and other activities. What bothers me about these particular communications, and what I think we can all learn from, can be broken down into three categories:

1) The information is not relevant to me – I don’t need to know about a college tour for 9th and 10th graders when my oldest child is in 6th grade. It’s a waste of my time and I may start to tune out your other messages.

2) There is too much information – Sometimes details are necessary, but if you find yourself sending emails that are more than a few paragraphs long you may need to re-think both your message and your delivery methods.

3) There’s too much fluff clouding the real message – We all like to have a little fun sometimes, but when I read a PTA email that literally spells out entire cheers like “We’ve got spirit…” in bold and all caps I tune out immediately.

Maybe I’m not being a good enough sport here but I’m busy (as most of us are) and just don’t have time for a lot of fluff. Get to the point quickly and don’t bury the important information.

Thankfully, I don’t think credit unions are inundating members with automated calls or spamming members with daily emails and irrelevant information. Most of our organizations could probably stand to communicate a bit more. However, these three tips on how to communicate effectively may help you take a moment and consider what you are sending from the receiver’s perspective. Whether you’re crafting communications for members, employees, the board, or your community, understanding what engages vs. what alienates your audience can make all the difference.

Sharon Simpson

Sharon Simpson

Sharon is a national consultant who specializes in developing strategic marketing plans for CUSOs and credit unions. She has over fifteen years of marketing experience in the financial services industry. ... Web: Details