By Darren Gilbert
In fact, it’s a list that anyone working within communications, let alone PR should know and understand to ensure that their messages remains on point and deliver the right results for their clients.
It needs to be remembered that PR is hard work. As FoxPR MD, Kate Thompson-Duwe says, it’s not something that can be done overnight or quickly. Good, effective PR comes from a deep insight, understanding and telling a good story. In a piece on Top Story Public Relations
, Anthony Mora talks about just that: “Effective public relations comes down to compelling storytelling. The more compelling the story, the more effective the PR campaign.” This kind of story is what the media and public want to connect with.
And this is where it comes back to the 7c’s. In using them, compelling stories can be told. According to MindTools
, they also provide the checklist needed to ensure everyone gets the message. They’ve been spoken about by just about anyyone, including Muhammad Naveed Shakir, who gave a presentation at the International Islamic University Islamabad.
The first ‘C’stands for Completeness. As Shakir points out
, this is all about ensuring that the message that any PR agency sends out is complete. In containing all the facts that any reader or listener needs, it paves the way for the right reaction and thus the desired outcome. It also allows for a future relationship because your audience knows that they don’t need to go anywhere else to get what they need. This leads to the second ‘C’ – Conciseness.
PR professionals need to communicate their message in the least possible words. That is of course without forgoing the other C’s of communication. As Prateek Chopra says
, in being concise, it saves both the time for you as an agency and your audience as well. “A concise message is complete without being wordy”. This in turn slots in with the third ‘C’ – Consideration.
“Keeping the receiver in mind while preparing the message is what defines the quality of consideration.” It’s about putting oneself in the place of the audience, as he continues. In focusing on the end user and how they can benefit rather than the business who wants to make money, one creates a pleasant and positive experience. In doing that, focusing on how it helps the audience, the idea that this is just another product or experience falls away.
The following ‘C’ is known as Concreteness. As Chopra continues, concreteness is about being vivid, definite and specific rather than obscure in the messages that you send out. “When you talk to clients, always use facts and figures instead of generic and irrelevant information.” In doing this, though, one needs to remember the fifth ‘C’ – Clarity. “In effective business communication, the message should be … clear.” This means that precise words, and those familiar to your particular audience need to be used.
“Courtesy means not only to think about the receivers reaction but also his/her feelings,” Chopra. The second last ‘C’, Courtesy, goes hand in hand with ‘Consideration’. “Be sincerely tactful, thoughtful and appreciative.” One needs to remember that your audience is taking time out of their day to read your message. In receiving your message, they need to notice it. In following this ‘step’, your audience will better appreciate what you are attempting to achieve. “Use expression[s] that show respect,” says Shakir.
The final ‘C’ for effective communication links in with a recent article
I wrote for Publicity Update
on bad press releases. The article was the result of a couple of error-strewn and badly written press releases that I received. Before communicating, ensure that you are correct. As Chopra says, its about three things: “Use the right level of lanaguage; Check the accuracy of figures, facts and words; [and] maintain acceptable writing mechanics.”
Effective communication, and by association, public relations begins with a firm foundation based on Cutlip and Center’s seven points. That is not to say that they encompass everything that one needs to know to create effective campaigns. But they will certainly take you far along the path of delivering your message successfully.
What are your thoughts? Is there anything else that one should keep in mind when communicating?