Why?

In the past 30 years marketing has been shaped by concepts of brand, which shaded into notions of identity. Both might be important, but they are very different. Where communicators have lost sight of the difference their work has become poorly-directed, often banal, sometimes even offensive. Although it’s clear the world has changed radically, management thinking remains rooted in 20th century models of industrial organisation. While business people speak all the time of creativity and innovation, their actions privilege uniformity over diversity. Communication is still seen primarily as a control mechanism, a way of constraining possible responses, rather than a way of engaging and bringing together people whose interactions might generate value for the enterprise. I’m a writer, not a behavioural psychologist, but my training in literary scholarship gave me a grounding in the ways words work on us, the ways meaning may be reshaped by variations in context. In commercial practice this discipline underpins the critical thinking I’ll apply to any communication task. Some tasks really are simple, others only deceptively so. As a manager you might think it’s important to “get the message across”. I’d argue it’s more important to focus on what you want to achieve, and then think through the different ways communication might get you there. It’s unlikely to involve the transmission of a single message. Why should you work with me? It’s because I like to think before I speak, and I can help you do the same.
Being true, my “business blog” (link below) features reflections on corporate practice, effective communication, brand, identity and good writing.
Skills in summary Copywriting Websites, social media, (including blogs), brochures, white papers, guides, scripts (audio and video), speeches, journalism (news and features), complete publications, ads and direct mail. Planning Communication audit and analysis, strategic concept and channel development, message grids and structure, evaluation Teaching/speaking Individual coaching, group masterclasses, platform speaking
Five tones of voice Click here to download this free PDF guide for corporate communicators
In the last thirty years the relationships which communication is conceived to improve have mostly got worse, with trust falling across the board. This isn’t simply a communication problem. Few businesses have found a way to love their customers, while those customers themselves have come to view business with increasing cynicism. Meanwhile for employee communication the chasm between management and staff self-interest has grown wider, with typical engagement scores stuck at around 30 per cent, and productivity stubbornly static. Poor communication can and is making things worse. Business (and political) language has become a strange thing, infused with jargon and Orwellian newspeak. If they want to improve their relationships organisations must learn to speak as humans.  It's not simply about the words you choose, but critically about the quality of the thought behind your words. The human project is a means of rethinking common and misplaced assumptions about our diverse audiences, about what they think, what they expect and will accept. It's a way of asking what it is we're really trying to achieve, and how we expect it to happen.

The human project

Why?

In the past 30 years marketing has been shaped by concepts of brand, which shaded into notions of identity. Both might be important, but they are very different. Where communicators have lost sight of the difference their work has become poorly-directed, often banal, sometimes even offensive. Although it’s clear the world has changed radically, management thinking remains rooted in 20th century models of industrial organisation. While business people speak all the time of creativity and innovation, their actions privilege uniformity over diversity. Communication is still seen primarily as a control mechanism, a way of constraining possible responses, rather than a way of engaging and bringing together people whose interactions might generate value for the enterprise. I’m a writer, not a behavioural psychologist, but my training in literary scholarship gave me a grounding in the ways words work on us, the ways meaning may be reshaped by variations in context. In commercial practice this discipline underpins the critical thinking I’ll apply to any communication task. Some tasks really are simple, others only deceptively so. As a manager you might think it’s important to “get the message across”. I’d argue it’s more important to focus on what you want to achieve, and then think through the different ways communication might get you there. It’s unlikely to involve the transmission of a single message. Why should you work with me? It’s because I like to think before I speak, and I can help you do the same.
Being true, my “business blog” (link below) features reflections on corporate practice, effective communication, brand, identity and good writing.
Skills in summary Copywriting Websites, social media, (including blogs), brochures, white papers, guides, scripts (audio and video), speeches, journalism (news and features), complete publications, ads and direct mail. Planning Communication audit and analysis, strategic concept and channel development, message grids and structure, evaluation Teaching/speaking Individual coaching, group masterclasses, platform speaking
Five tones of voice Click here to download this free PDF guide for corporate communicators
In the last thirty years the relationships which communication is conceived to improve have mostly got worse, with trust falling across the board. This isn’t simply a communication problem. Few businesses have found a way to love their customers, while those customers themselves have come to view business with increasing cynicism. Meanwhile for employee communication the chasm between management and staff self-interest has grown wider, with typical engagement scores stuck at around 30 per cent, and productivity stubbornly static. Poor communication can and is making things worse. Business (and political) language has become a strange thing, infused with jargon and Orwellian newspeak. If they want to improve their relationships organisations must learn to speak as humans.  It's not simply about the words you choose, but critically about the quality of the thought behind your words. The human project is a means of rethinking common and misplaced assumptions about our diverse audiences, about what they think, what they expect and will accept. It's a way of asking what it is we're really trying to achieve, and how we expect it to happen.

The human project