Of course the fine folks at the Florida Highway Department shouldn’t expect people to start creating pictures of bridges upon seeing this sign. That’s a reasonable assumption. The object of the sign is to let people know that the bridge ahead may be raised to let boat traffic pass, and not much more needs to be said. Draw Bridge Ahead. Got it.
But how many times as internal communicators do we prepare messaging or a piece of communication and simply assume people know what we are talking about or what we want them to do? More often than we'd like to admit.
We focus on strategic messaging or making sure we get the boss's main points in whatever we are creating. And that's important.
But I’ve also seen many examples where we fall short of answering our audience's key question: “So what do you want me to DO?”
We've all seen all-company emails that talk about a company's strategy moving forward, the importance of focusing on our goals and the need to finish the year strong.
But where does it say what we actually want people to do when they begin their next workday? Someone reads this common corporate communication and thinks: “Great! I'm on board! But what do I actually DO?”
Here are some tips to avoid this common trap:
What are some ways you make sure your people don’t whip out a sketchpad when you tell them “Draw Bridge Ahead?”