The Three C’s
Of Winning Communication
Businesses communicate to convey thoughts to others and achieve a certain result. So why do so many make a hash of it all? Perhaps because no one ever told them how easy it is to do it correctly.
Have you read the writings of Thomas Jefferson? Listened to speeches by FDR, Churchill and Reagan? Have you heard Jack Welch or Lee Iacocca speak?
They are confident, direct and easy to understand. They don’t lead you through a hazy maze and challenge you to find the meaning. The same is true when you read great copywriters like David Ogilvy, Rosser Reeves and Bill Bernbach.
All of these master communicators have one thing in common. They follow the rule of the Three C’s Of Effective Communication.
Clear • Concise • Conversational
Clear – Use simple, familiar words whose meanings are universally understood. This leaves little room for misinterpretation. President William Taft said “Don’t write so that you can be understood; write so that you can’t be misunderstood.”
Too many people speak or write to impress others. They use ten-dollar words and obscure jargon. Don’t do that. It negates the entire reason for communicating – to be heard and move people to action. Even Einstein tells us, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Concise – Use short words and simple sentences. Convey one concept at a time. Tell your whole story but do it in as few words as possible. Thomas Jefferson said “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” I agree.
Conversational – I like to think of copywriting as talking to a friend over my kitchen table. It has to flow like a good conversation. Sometimes, strict rules of grammar have to be bent. Churchill was once admonished for ending a sentence with a preposition. “Madam” he replied, “that is a sin up with which I shall not put.” Message received, Sir Winston.
When marketing you need to tell your customers about the benefits of doing business with you. Good marketing communications – based on the Three C’s – can be the difference between just getting by and being a roaring success.
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Many business owners need help in crafting their marketing, advertising, online web copywriting and content, press releases and the like. I encourage you to find a good brand strategy consultant or professional copywriting service who can take what’s in your heart and your head and put it in a way that will let you reach your goal of educating your prospects, allowing them to conclude they should do business with you.