Clear Comm Consulting

I was just thinking about you …

May 10, 2007

When I sat down to write this Monthly Memo I was thinking of you. Isn’t it great to be thought of? The fact is, we all want to be thought of and it really is the key to all successful forms of communication.

How many times have you heard a person start their speech or presentation with, “Hello. I’m so glad to be here.” I use a slide with one of my clients which reads; “Yea, we KNOW you’re glad to be here!” In other words, what ELSE can you say to engage that audience, because EVERYBODY says they’re glad to be here!

If the first words out of your mouth are both predictable and unimaginative you are off on the wrong foot. Instead, how about telling them that you were thinking of them? Let them know that this is not some canned exercise from start to finish, even if some of it IS canned. Say the exact words, “I was thinking about you…” or some form of that sentiment and then back it up with a personal connection to that group. (You probably really were thinking about them! Just let them know about it.)

E-mail communication is both the single best AND worst addition to our communication alternatives. Handled well, it can be like receiving a great hand-written note. Handled poorly, it can blow a business deal or sink your chance at getting that next big promotion. The same rule applies. If somehow you can connect with the people who are supposed to be reading the e-mail — they may actually read it!

A couple of months back I wrote about New York restaurant owner Danny Meyer and his vigilant approach to customer service. When he read the Memo he sent me an e-mail and not surprisingly he didn’t dash off a “Thanks for writing about my book…” message. Instead it was thoughtful and directly connected to the message I delivered in the Memo. It took him thirty seconds longer than the usual stuff most of us fire off in the e-mail world, and it illustrated his philosophy exactly. Do you really want your e-mails to be read? Try letting people know you are thinking of them when you are poised over your keyboard.

Media Communication:
The worst new pet phrase in the public relations world is centered on the word “blast.” It goes something like this. “We’ll be sending out that e-mail/voice mail/fax blast tomorrow.” It means they will be sending out the new information they are hoping the media jumps on in a giant electronic “blast”. (Feel free to throw the phrase around with your PR friends.) There’s just one problem … who wants to be on the receiving end of a “blast”? The very premise for the idea is to make it as impersonal as possible. Just blast it out there and hope somebody does something with it. Good luck. How about putting even more effort into the exact other end of the spectrum. How about contacting some media outlets and letting them know you’ve been thinking about them?

ClearComm Note:
For the third time in the last four years ClearComm has been honored with a national television production “Telly” award for our work with one of our longtime clients, Glendale, Arizona. Congratulations to all involved.

Cary Pfeffer is the founder of ClearComm Consulting,, a Phoenix, AZ-based communications consulting firm which is helping people tell their story. He works with clients to make the most of their media and live audience communication. Email him at: [email protected].

Follow along with Cary on Twitter @CaryPfeffer

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