Practice restraint of pen, tongue, and send button
Communicating can be a tricky thing. It’s easy to say something but not quite get across what you meant, and just as easy for you to say exactly what you intended and have it be interpreted in a completely different way by whoever’s on the receiving end. Most communications today – whether they take the form of a social media campaign, internal memo, TV spot, press release, or thousands of other possibilities – reach a vast audience near-instantaneously, meaning you don’t have time to scramble for a fix if something goes awry.
Before you put out your next communication, complete this checklist.
▣ Could the message be offensive to specific groups? Even if you think a message will remain contained to a specific group chances are it won’t. If you’re risking offending someone find a different way to say it.
▣ Does the language used translate well? Sometimes words or phrases that seem perfectly ordinary in one region are quite offensive in another. If your communications are crossing borders this is a big one to double-check.
▣ Will someone unfamiliar with the situation be left with too many questions? It’s easy to assume others know what you do, get someone you trust with zero knowledge of the issue to double-check that you’ve included enough info.
▣ Is it true? This seems simple, but it’s awfully easy to make the jump from positioning your organization or product in a certain way to being dishonest. If you don’t think your messaging would survive being picked apart and fact-checked then don’t hit that SEND button just yet.
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