{Rules of PR no.16} You Know You Have a Communication Problem When…

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You know you have a communications problem when…

  • you start a message on Twitter
  • respond to the response on Facebook
  • respond to the Facebook response via text message
  • reply to text message via e-mail
  • e-mail back via another e-mail account
  • and end said conversation with a phone a call.
  • …then you follow-up with cheek and giggles on Twitter.

Exhausting.

Really? Oh, indeed.

Seriously? Serious.

We live in an age of mass everything. There are so many outlets to communicate upon that sometimes, to be overwhelmed is an understatement. We get so caught up in ourselves, our lives and whatever wave length we happen to be surfing across at any moment, that a lot of the time, a lot of us forget to be individuals.

By individuals, I mean we forget how to communicate properly: one platform, one conversation, at a time with another person(s).

I can imagine, that you like me, have been victim and are guilty of the above. Yes, both.

There are however, three things to remember when you delve into the world of communication that can, actually, make your life easier, as well as those you speak with.

  • Strategize

Make a conscious effort to talk to someone in one outlet of communication at a time.

If you have more to say than can fit into the 140 characters allowed on Twitter and if you have the person’s email address — e-mail them. Don’t start a conversation, move to another platform, and then move back to the original platform.

If someone has more to say to you, and rather than @ replying to your tweet on Twitter, they e-mail you — e-mail them back. Don’t respond via Twitter or Direct Messaging on Twitter. Regardless, of how much or how little you have to say, if the platform moves, with an obvious valid reason, move with it.

Don’t be a social media jerk.

Don’t be that annoying individual who can’t get enough of different platforms and drives the rest of us mad because we can’t keep up with you. The time will eventually come, where the conversations will stop or average on the very minimal.

Why? Because no one will be able to reach your properly.

Yes, there is a time and place for everything, and cross-platform conversations are not only common, but typical. However, keep in mind that you want the person talking to you, to be able to respond to you fully and to the best of their ability. They can’t do that, if you go from endless blank space (e-mail), to 140 characters (Twitter), to a 2000 character limit (Facebook’s wall) to even a text message.

It’s too much, and if you don’t get that then, otherwise, it’s simply bad manners.

  • Individualize

Make a conscious effort to adhere to the likes of some, while, staying true to your best form of communication.

You may love Facebook messages, but you have your e-mail open all day long. The people who communicate with you 24-7 on Facebook? Tell them about your e-mail, ask them to message you there because THAT is where you will be, and have access too, all day long and vice-versa.

It is a common courtesy and allows for an easier conversational transaction.

Yes, a transaction — like at a bank, when you want to get your money out. You want it to be smooth and to the point. You want some form of direct behaviour. 

Same with conversations. Can you just imagine how exhausting it would be if everyone at every minute of every day was cross-platform conversing with you?

Imagine the confusion.

Others may not be so kind, you don’t have to be like “them.”

  • Be Effective

It’s not often what you say, it’s how you say it.

If all you need is 140 characters, use 140 characters. If all you need is a blank space to write endless amounts, send your friend an e-mail. If you need to describe something on the telephone because written words simply won’t cut it, pick up the telephone.

Remember, you control what you say. If you can’t communicate your thoughts to the best of your ability — you risk being misunderstood, rather than understood.

Simple.

No one but you, knows how you best communicate yourself. 

Do it well. It is your own responsibility. 

Little Pink Book’s Rule of PR #16:
Remember that you are a human and not a machine.
You have the access and ability to choose your best form of communication:
In-person, on the phone or online.
Choose ONE; choose WELL.
Know your audience, be aware and communicate how you would like to be
communicated too.
No one has control over what you say, or how you say it
besides you. 

 

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima.

Copyright © 2009 SashaH. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

Comments

  1. I read your post this morning Sasha, and then this afternoon I ALMOST did exactly that, cross-communication! I was about to reply to an email with a text message when your post niggled its way into my brain and I stopped and responded via email instead!
    So, thanks! 🙂

    Sara

  2. I think because Facebook links to your cell if you have it set up than you get quicker feedback. I interviewed someone for a profile summary and he didn't email me his bio but after I wrote on his wall… I finally got a response.

  3. I think because Facebook links to your cell if you have it set up than you get quicker feedback. I interviewed someone for a profile summary and he didn't email me his bio but after I wrote on his wall… I finally got a response.

  4. Your communication problem sounds like something out of “He's Just Not That Into You.” I keep my Twitter conversations separate from my FB and whatever else. Or at least I try… Plus, don't forget to actually call someone to talk to them. I am not a huge fan of the phone anymore but I do know people who do communicate that way.

  5. Your communication problem sounds like something out of “He's Just Not That Into You.” I keep my Twitter conversations separate from my FB and whatever else. Or at least I try… Plus, don't forget to actually call someone to talk to them. I am not a huge fan of the phone anymore but I do know people who do communicate that way.