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Internal Communication?
External Communication?
Who Cares!

Just focus on what you want the audience to do.

 
We never needed two divisions, let alone two departments.

Making a big deal about the difference (sic) between external and internal communications won't help you do your job any better. The difference is costume, not content, and it is the province of those who imagine that the important word is something other than communication

To understand why this is true, return to first principles. Whether it's communication aimed at those outside the organization (clients, vendors, investors, regulators, and others similarly situated) or inside (employees, executives, and the like) the point is the same: after they've heard what we have to say, we want them to do something.

In other words, all successful communication is focused on persuasion. Everything else, including distinctions between audiences, is secondary, and must be in service to the task of causing someone to take action.

 

Follow the logic that leads to the mistaken division.

When we're communicating with those on the inside, they say, we're mostly relating information, and we can do it in our common shorthand. They work for us, so they have to do what we say. We just fill 'em in, give 'em some orders, and move along. Be clear, share the consequences, and be firm -- that's plenty.

That's a mistake.

Then there's this additional bad assumption: The world outside is not our own. "They" have money, resources, and platforms that we need. They don't know our lingo, our world, or our shorthand, so we'll be speaking a whole different language to them compared to what we say to each other in the cubicles. This is where we do the cajoling, not with our captive audience in the office.

That's a mistake, too.

Sure, there's truth in these observations. I've used blunt terms here, but to varying degrees in various offices, all these things are no less true. And when it comes to the pillars of persuasion, they do not matter.

 
Join me today, Friday, August 14, at noon EDT for a webinar:
How to Give Good Meeting!
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here, at this link.
I'll be joined by my friend and colleague Business Accelerator April Shprintz.

 


We are here to persuade. Period. Full stop.

Every audience has to be reached on a human level, which is far removed from the differences, big or small, in characteristics of the audience.

The qualities of any audience for any message are more variable than the internal/external distinction can contain, so much so that I submit it's not worth making. So treat every audiences as worth examination in detail, not as simply inside or outside the group.

 
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In practice, start like this:

Write down what you want the reader/listener to do when it's over.

Consider what motivates this audience in this context for this request.

Appeal to them at the human level.

Internal? External? Won't help.

As always, just persuade.

 


Mike's Calendar
Topic Organization Date Location
Speechwriting for Military Writers and Others Georgetown University Aug 26-28 Online 
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Creative Writing Georgetown University Sep 23 - Oct 28 (weekly) Online 
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Speechwriting: The Method & The Art Professional Speechwriters Association Sep 29 -
Oct 2
Online
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PR Writing Series Trade Association October Washington, DC
Emcee for Marketing Convention Private Nov 4 Washington, DC
European Festival of Political Rhetoric European Speechwriters Network Nov 6-27 Online
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