Yesterday you learned a four-step process to overcoming communication palisades. Now I am happy to present the Public Relations checklist for overcoming communication barriers, also known as the 7 C’s of Effective Communication.
7 C’s of Effective Communication: Clarity, Conciseness, Consideration, Completeness, Coherency, Courtesy, and Correctness.
1. Clarity: The more you focus on something, the more clear it becomes. Make sure you maintain your focus by only communicating a specific message by using concrete wording and adding emphasis only to the message itself, not tangents of the message.
2. Conciseness: Many reporters will take pages of notes on an event and go back to high light only the important facts. Being concise is creating a message out of only those highlighted features. Conciseness involves minimizing word usage; it is the combination of “brief” and “point”.
3. Consideration: Quite plainly, know your audience. Stick your feet in their shoes and wear them out. Consideration is about tweaking the words that you have used to focus on what you want to deliver, so that they also adhere to the wants and needs of the audience who will receive the message. This is your opportunity to empathize.
4. Completeness: Completeness is about representation, about credibility, about conveying all the facts accordingly. In conveying all the facts, it answers any questions that may be sparked by the presented information. When you work on making something complete, it is the only time that it is expected to add more information to the focus so that it answers those questions.
5. Coherency: While a message may have all its facts, do they flow? Making a communication coherent insinuates adding transitional phrases, checking and re checking the wording, and breaking the message into segments while maintaining the connections.
6. Courtesy: Remember the end of Overcoming Communication Palisades: Part One? Be human and stay positive.
7. Correctness: Being straightforward, get an editor. In fact, get five editors, a few friends, and a couple of co-workers or other people in the PR field to review your message. Just do it, you may never realize how much it matters, but if you don’t do it, you will. That’s the unsatisfying result of correctness.
As everything in PR and communication, there are always more ways to look at definitions, tables, concepts, etc,. Other C’s that get thrown into the fray: credibility, content, context, continuity, capability, channels, and concreteness. All of which involve some part or another of the concepts I have presented.