August 20, 2019

The 4Rs of effective communications

By Melissa Webster

Effective communication can no longer be achieved with good writing alone. Content is being created faster than we can consume it, with more than 60 per cent not being used, viewed or downloaded. This number is expected to climb over the coming years, making it more important than ever to develop strategic communications. The 4Rs of effective communications take us back to the often-overlooked fundamentals to help content break through the clutter.

Right medium

How does your audience prefer to receive information? Meet them where they’re comfortable—it’s easier to get your audiences’ attention in their preferred channels than trying to get them to join a new channel.

It may be easier than ever to reach your audience online, but that doesn’t mean you should. Consider your message, timing and the specific audience for each piece of content to strategically deliver information (you’ll have a much better chance at grabbing and keeping their attention).

Right time

Even if you have a great piece of content, it needs to be delivered to your audience at the right time. This is especially true for the agriculture industry. Agriculture is a seasonal business which makes the timing of your message critical. Always ask yourself if the message is timely and relevant—you wouldn’t engage with content about Christmas in the middle of the summer, just as farmers wouldn’t be interested in content about harvest in the middle of winter.

Plan ahead. List out key dates, events, seasons, etc. for your audience(s) to be aware of their mindset and purchasing decisions throughout the year.

Right audience

Before you invest in writing, design and production, make sure you know who you’re talking to. In addition to basic demographic information, understand your audience’s hopes, dreams, fears and frustrations as it relates to what your selling. To dive deeper, use these tips from Convince and Convert on how to drill down into your true target audience.

Right message

You’ve picked your medium, your timing and your audience, but the fourth ‘R’ is arguably the most important—the right message. We all want to feel like people and companies are speaking directly and singularly to us, so craft your message as if you’re speaking to one person. If you want to generate more positive engagement, you must connect with your audience on an emotional level using valuable content that solves their problems.

Consider developing a brand messaging strategy to streamline the process of writing messaging that resonates while staying true to your brand.

With these 4Rs in mind, you’re ready to start effectively communicating with your audience. Have questions or need a little help to get started? Get in touch.

Melissa Webster is a Senior PR and Content Specialist at AdFarm with a deep love of cats, naps and outdoor adventures. She’s an accredited social media wizard with Hootsuite’s Advanced Social Advertising Certificate.