— On Comms Design. From London

On the importance of being precise with words

I just came back from a Masterclass in Effectiveness at local IPA where I was fortunate to hear 4 smart people present 4 smart campaigns. What stayed with me, though, was the realization that we need to be very precise with the terminology we employ when we discuss the role and effects of communication.

Someone in the panel used the word fame as an way of thinking about the outcome of the campaigns we make, and soon that one word descended into multiple interpretations from the audience among which “something viral”, “something everyone talks about”, “something cool”, “something on brand”, “something useful, meaningful”, to the point where someone felt the need to ask but what if being famous is not in our brand’s DNA. One of the speakers then casually dropped this into the mix “we all know that fame quadruples the effects of a campaign” which further confused everyone as to what was being discussed.

It only goes to show how we should be very precise in describing what the point of a campaign is. Ultimately, as service providers, we are held by the objectives and metrics of our clients. If they leave it to us to set objectives, these should be intrinsically linked to sales and brand and any word we use to describe any step in between our work and sales or brand results had better be clear.