636 699 8772


Clarify... Plan... Execute

Small Business Marketing

The 5 Cs of Communication

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

If you communicate more effectively you'll attract more business. These tips will help you do that.

Many of us need to communicate in some capacity in our professional lives. Sometimes it's oral, and sometimes it will show up in print or online. Regardless, we can always improve our efforts.

Volumes have been written on the subject of communications, and there is only so much that can be said in a blog. These simple tips can be applied to help you grow in your ability to write or speak.

Bottom line; applying these principles will put yourself in a better light, leave a better impression and help you attract more business.

Here are five simple tips (plus a BONUS) you can use in your marketing communications, both oral and written.

Tip #1 - CONTEXT: The first step in planning a communication piece is to consider the context. Context covers a variety of elements, but here are a few:

Audience is the first element to consider. I learned a lesson when I was speaking overseas. I made some humorous mistakes with analogies that didn't work. But even when you're communicating with an audience of peers, don't assume that everyone has the same knowledge base or frame of reference. When creating your content try to stay aware of the assumptions you're bringing to the table. Make adjustments to suit your audience as needed. Read the rest of Communication Tip #1


Tip # 2 - CLARITY: If you're like me, you really don't like it when a speaker or a writer leaves you wondering what they were trying to say. Our aim, as communicators, is to deliver content in a way that can be easily understood. So we have to pay attention to the idea of CLARITY. Consider the following points:

Structure: Is there an orderly progression of ideas that makes sense? People need to know how each point fits in the overall structure. Read the rest of Communication Tip #2


Tip #3 - Be CONCISE: I’m referring to two things; the overall length of the communication, and quickly communicating each point. I like the term “economy of words.”

Being concise relates to the context. One example is this series of blog posts. This post on being concise is the third in a series of six. This series was originally one single oral presentation. I wouldn’t put the whole presentation in one post or newsletter, where I want to be brief.

Oral: In oral communication there is usually a predetermined expectation of the length of the message. We can also use tonal quality, cadence and motion to help the audience stay interested, understand the material, and categorize the pieces of information. Read the rest of Communication Tip #3


Tip #4 - Be COMPLETE in Your Message: Being both concise and complete can be a challenge, but you can do it with some thoughtful consideration.

Context and Intent: The “complete” story means different things in different settings. Nike can easily post a billboard with their swoosh logo, and their tag line, “Just do it.” Their intent is simply to build brand awareness. Read the rest of Communications Tip #4


Tip #5 - Be COMPELLING: This tip relates to the reason we’re communicating our message. We want to make sure that our message is COMPELLING. This is especially true when you're writing ad copy and thinking about your call to action.

But we’re going to consider context again, and specifically the context of purpose. Not everything we ever write will need to be compelling.

When developing a communication piece, these are some of the questions you can ask yourself: Read the rest of Communication Tip #5


Bonus Tip #6 - PROOFREAD! It’s all too easy to get in a hurry and fail to check our work. Even when we check it, we can get it wrong. We know what we meant to say, so we can miss little typos or grammatical goofs here and there. Read the rest of Communication Tip #6

Steve Smart works with busy entrepreneurs who want to improve their marketing efforts. He can be reached at or 636-699-8772.


Posted by Steve Smart Share/Bookmark

The Next Step

Find out if we can help market and grow your business