What’s your signal to noise ratio?

With an increasing number of media – both traditional and new – one problem that many organizations fall foul of is thinking that more noise equals better communications.  In addition to their traditional PR and marketing many firms have rushed to create Facebook pages, Twitter handles, blogs, micro-blogs, LinkedIn pages, Flickr sites… not to mention the most recent brand ‘must have’  – a Pinterest ‘board’.

The problem is that many don’t stop to ask the most important question – how does another channel enhance the communication of a message and increase the number of people it reaches.  There is an [often incorrect] assumption that more channels = a large audience = more opportunities to sell.  If the message is wrong; the media inappropriate; the ratio of signal to noise incorrect then there’s a significant chance that you’re actually decreasing your chances of communicating effectively with your target audience.

There are four key considerations to the success of any communications programme:

  • What am I trying to communicate?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • What is the most effective way of engaging with the audience?
  • What does success look like?

If you can’t answer these questions then it’s likely that your campaign will be more noise than signal.  Simply increasing the number of channels you use to communicate your message COULD be reducing its effectiveness.  So, before you start a new campaign it might be worth asking yourself whether you will be generating more signal, or just more noise.

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