Overcoming communication barriers, part 1
The most common communication barriers we hear + how to overcome them
Barriers to effective communication can hold you (and your company) back from your full potential. Is your company stagnant rather than thriving? You can take control of your company’s reputation and communication by overcoming the most common communication barriers. In this blog we’ll tell you the most common barriers we hear, and how to overcome them.
There are many potential communication barriers; the ones we’ll cover here fall into the categories of psychological, emotional, perception, organizational, and capacity-based.
With so many potential barriers in the world, let’s start with foundational issues. Be on the lookout for a part 2 where we explore additional barriers and ways to overcome them.
Let’s get to it!
Barrier: We’re the best kept secret! …and we don’t want to be!
What does this really mean? To us, it indicates that you’re ready to level up and be seen and heard. We are here for it! It also probably means that your company or organization hasn’t had a communication strategy, or that an existing strategy has been providing underwhelming results.
Overcome the barrier: Lead with strategy.
A communication strategy should always be customized for the company or organization. A solid strategy and plan to execute on that strategy will take into account your current and long term goals, and your capacity and what is reasonable to accomplish and maintain. A solid plan will be built with goals and specific objectives, tailored to your audiences and focused on strengthening relationships while achieving your goals.
Barrier: We don’t (really) know who our audiences are.
“We’re glad when they show up, and we love them a lot for buying our product or service… but beyond a few details, we don’t know much about them.” This situation is fairly common and can be solved with some focused relationship building. Beyond getting to know your audience several layers deep, building strategy to communicate effectively with them is where the real value can lie.
Overcome the barrier: Intentionally learn about your audiences.
In marketing and communication, you’ve got to know who you’re talking to before you start if you want it to go well. Understanding your audience deeply – who they are, where they are, what matters to them, who matters to them, what they care about and why – will create opportunities for your company or organization to build genuine relationships. Spoiler alert: genuine relationships are the ones that tend to stick. Your understanding will open the door to more poignant communication and brand loyalty.
Barrier: Our capacity for handling marketing and communication has expired and we need a partner to help.
Maybe it was the founder-turned-CEO’s responsibility. Maybe it was a shared job by several members of the team. Maybe it didn’t have anyone officially dedicated to its success. These are all instances our clients have brought to us when it comes to their faltering marketing and communication efforts. What worked in the past won’t necessarily work in the future, and that goes for marketing your company or organization, too.
Overcome the barrier: Expand your capacity.
Whether through a new hire, a reorganization of duties, or a partnership with a strategic communication firm (Hi! 👋), if your capacity has waned it’s time to reemphasize the importance of marketing and communication by expanding the capacity back. One truth we’ll share here is that it is much easier to notice when marketing and communication is done poorly or not at all rather than when it is done well. As the creators and executors of well-done marketing and communications that’s not the easiest pill to swallow, but it’s the truth. Like putting on a new pair of running shoes after the old ones are long past their prime, the delight of noticing your marketing and communication ramp up will be worth the investment. And your audience will surely notice, too.
Do the commonly heard barriers above sound familiar? Have you experienced them for yourself? If so, don’t despair. They are common and they are surmountable. With some intentionality and a strong partner on your side, the most common communication barriers can certainly be overcome.
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