Our Knowledge

What an un-PC ancient Athenian can teach us about business communications

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”

Okay, yes, this Plato quote is problematic. First of all, the bearded Athenian seemed to have forgotten that women also exist when he penned these words. Also, it’s pretty harsh to label someone who wants to say something but perhaps doesn’t know quite how, a ‘fool’.

In this instance, it’s probably fair that these faux pas be chalked up to ‘that’s how it was back then’, given that ‘back then’ was 400 BC.

All this notwithstanding, there is a powerful message in Plato’s words that still resonate today and can be neatly applied to the importance of communication in business.

All businesses have something to say, but those that have perfected the art of communication convey their messaging through a smart mix of channels, platforms, and tactics. Those that haven’t perfected this art, instead churn out messaging in a scattergun approach that Plato would likely write off as ‘foolish’.

It isn’t foolish. You don’t know what you don’t know. Businesses that haven’t received expert support in this crucial aspect of commerce can hardly be blamed for not getting it quite right.

However, what they do need to recognise, is how crucial good communications are. And, like most things in life, getting it right is all about the planning…

Have you ever listened to someone tell a story, but they hadn’t quite thought it through beforehand and so kept going off on tangents, pausing while they recollect, and then forgetting what they were even telling you? We’re guessing, yes. You’ve probably been guilty of it yourself, so you know how disorientating it can be. But this is exactly how communications come across from a business when there’s no plan in place for how they’ll be delivered.

A good plan though, requires more than just dates for when blogs and tweets should be published. It needs all parties involved in communication delivery to sit down together and formulate a strategy that everyone understands and can work to. It entails deeper thinking about content and storytelling, building a narrative around your brand, your services, and your vision. It means establishing tactics for raising the profile of the business and those that lead it, and, ultimately, executing campaigns that produce real, measurable results.

Clearly, it’s a process that demands time and expertise, both of which may be thin on the ground for an organisation that has yet to prioritise communications as a tool.

Within the four-K approach used by Konductor, is Kommunication. We summarise this pillar of our business as: ‘Bringing together strategy, activity, outcomes, and measures and ensuring it’s in one plan which is understood by those who are delivering against it.’

In other words, we do the groundwork that allows your business to be the person that’s telling a story with such energy and coherence, they hold a captive audience who demand only to hear more.

And, what we know for certain about businesses that hold captive audiences, is that these audiences are far more inclined to spend money with them, and to recommend that others do to.

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