As I sit down to write, I initially find myself tempted to cram an overwhelming amount of information into the first few paragraphs, akin to the vast collection of knowledge in the Library of Alexandria. After all, that’s what was requested of me. I make sure that all the information is definitely included and nod approvingly to myself.
However, upon reflection, I realize that my approach is flawed. My role is to enliven, streamline, and simplify complex ideas, serving as a bridge between project managers, designers, researchers, and the broader public. Mindlessly repeating research jargon only reveals my failure to fulfill my responsibilities. As a matter of fact, this approach fails to benefit anyone involved.
Effective communication serves as the backbone of any organization. Without it, the entire structure can crumble, much like the houses of the two little pigs when faced with the mighty huffs and puffs of the big bad wolf. Communication must be present in every aspect, guided by a strategic and impactful approach that ensures understanding.
Modern Society and Everyday Communication
While specialized and academic terms have their place, it is important to recognize that modern society suffers from what is often referred to as information overload, a phenomenon that hinders the wheels of our knowledge-driven world. Readers no longer have the capacity to sift through vast amounts of data, distinguishing the essential from the irrelevant or deciphering the true meaning behind each word.
Therefore, news articles and press releases targeted at the general public should be molded in such a way that a singing handyman, a critical journalist, or an esteemed academic can readily comprehend the essence and purpose of the text at first glance.
Late-night searches through specialized dictionaries to find obscure jargon rarely impress those unfamiliar with the field. Such grand displays belong in academic writing, far removed from the fast-paced and everyday nature of effective communication.
Be the Gatekeeper You’re Expected to Be
As communicators, we must recognize the immense responsibility we bear. Each day, an average of 4.0–6.5 million blog posts are published, accompanied by millions of news articles, organizational communications, entertainment pieces, personal interactions, and social media updates.
While not every individual is reached by this deluge of information, the cumulative effect is overwhelming, leaving many feeling burdened. Therefore, it is paramount for communicators to sift through the noise and remove all the superfluous elements from their messages and deliver information in a clear, concise, and relatable manner.
Although this may occasionally result in conflicts between various stakeholders, it is essential to maintain clarity and focus on what truly matters. It is understandable that the originators of a press release may desire to include every piece of information at their disposal. However, as communicators, we must not forget our expertise and our role within the organization.
We are not just transmitters of information; we are also servants of the recipients, tasked with safeguarding the organization’s reputation and delivering reliable information. In many ways, we act as gatekeepers, making decisions about the relevance and usefulness of the information we share. This responsibility carries significant weight, and it should not be taken lightly.