“We need to promote ourselves online…”

When I talk with businesses and organisations, they’re often really enthusiastic (and a bit anxious) about getting online and communicating their great work, products and services.

They feel like they’re missing out on the mind-bogglingly awesome opportunities offered by Facebook, Twitter, blogging, e-marketing or their website.

They feel like there should be some simple formula they can apply and, even though they’ve never written online before, they anticipate

creating interesting, regular thought-pieces that will definitely improve sales and boost their reputation. Likewise videos, images or audio.

I’m sorry… it just doesn’t work like that.

The good news is that you can create great, effective, online content. The place to start is thinking about your organisation’s purpose.

Why do you do what you do?

Believe me, it’s easier to communicate when you understand why you’re doing what you do.

Wait. Don’t click off this page. I know this is the point you might be tempted… but please don’t. It’s not just personal development crap – it’s a key element in creating authentic communication.

I find that it’s often asking this really important question is the point when people’s eyes will glaze over, they stop listening.

Or they’ll become really enthusiastic. I relax when my client is able clearly to articulate why they do what they do. They’ve thought about it; their communication is 50% of the way there.

I firmly believe that the purpose of an organisation, if it is to prosper, should be altruistic; focused on doing good for society. As Herzberg, inventor of the Two Factor theory of human motivation explained, it’s “work worth doing”.

This doesn’t mean to ignore profits or return on investment. But even in 1931 Henry Ford agreed:

The highest use of capital is not to make more money but to make money for the betterment of life.

Uni-cycle Australia

As I write I’m listening to a radio interviewee, actor Samuel Johnson, who’s just uni-cycled around Australia (16,000 kms – as you do) to raise awareness about breast cancer, which his sister suffers. He’s a terrific communicator and that’s not just because he’s an actor – it’s a different skillset. He’s fired by an altruistic purpose.

Samuel also has a great understanding of who he’s communicating with; his audience, their values, the things that turn them on, their fears… in short the needs of their heads and hearts. Check out Love Your Sister to see how this is put into practice.

So, what’s the altruistic purpose of your organisation? And who do you serve? What benefits do they get from your offerings?

Nail this change to the way you think and you’re half way there to better communications in any medium.



To find out how to receive free expert advice see Digital Enterprise Program Melbourne.