For successful business leaders, the secret to success lies in better communications, verbally, via other media and in product branding.
Many business leaders have trouble identifying the most effective paths to better communications.
They often ask such questions as:
- What makes a memorable TV commercial, product design, or marketing campaign?
- Why do people listen to certain politicians or business leaders, and glaze over at the very mention of others?
- How can I get my employees to listen better?
- Where do the key elements of successful lie?
- When is it time to stop talking>
Moving people is not magic, says Isabelle Albanese. It’s effective communication, and anyone can achieve it by using a tool she developed to pinpoint why any message works or doesn’t work, and how to improve it.
In The 4Cs of Truth in Communication: How to Identify, Discuss, Evaluate and Present Stand-out, Effective Communication (Paramount Market Publishing, 2007), Albanese presents her 4Cs model, a tool to create effective communication pieces.
Originally designed for marketers, the 4Cs model provides a way for companies to deconstruct their communication efforts, such as product designs and ad campaigns, every step of the way, offering organized observations and prescriptive counsel before vast amounts of money end up wasted.
The 4Cs include:
- Comprehension – Does the audience get the message, the main idea, the point? What does the message instantly communicate? Can the audience play the message back? This confirms that they “get it” and the first C is working.
- Connection – Making a connection with a communicated idea or message means not only that the audience “gets it,” but that it resonates with them, has meaning and significance for them, and usually triggers an irrational or emotional response – frustration, excitement, anger, passion, joy, happiness, sadness, etc.
- Credibility – The audience needs to believe who is saying it (the brand or messenger’s voice), what is being said, and how it is being said. Otherwise, any connection begins to break down immediately. Credibility is the critical C, because the audience may completely understand a communicator’s message and even connect with it on an emotional level, then promptly turn around and say that coming from this particular source – company, candidate, supervisor, whatever - they aren’t buying it.
- Contagiousness – In communications, contagiousness is a good thing. You want your audience to “catch the message,” run with it, and spread it around. To be contagious, a message has to be energetic, new, different, and memorable. It should also evoke a vivid emotional response, have “talk” potential, motivate the target to do something, and elicit a demonstrable reaction.
Albanese uses real-life examples to show how the 4Cs work together in a wide range of marketing communication vehicles, such as ads, logos, and product marketing campaigns. She also cites well-known examples of marketing messages that failed because one of more of the 4Cs was missing.
Readers will also learn how to:
Albanese argues that business leaders can be more success by using the 4Cs to create compelling presentations, PowerPoints, and newsletters.
They are also useful in composing memorable emails and instant messages (IMs).
Albanese has helped clients do a better sales pitch for their eBay offerings with the 4Cs.
At home, the 4Cs can improve communication with children and partners.
The key, she says, is to remember who is your audience, what will they hear and in what sort of communication frame will it best be heard.