When we communicate, we usually want something to happen. We want results. And, when we’re conscious of results, we’re seeking effective communication.
To put it another way, effectiveness of communication can be measured by responses it gets. It's not measured by how well we wrote or how eloquently we spoke, although those can help us get responses we want.
Good writing and speaking help us get a response because they help get message across. As I've argued in my book, A Manager's Guide to Newsletters, a newsletter that doesn't get read cannot get a response from readers.
So, writing, designing, speaking, and all those other creative activities matter. But, in end, responses are what count, and effectiveness means getting responses we want.
That's true for all types of communication, and not just marketing campaigns. Managers who send messages to employees, for example, want employees to respond in a particular way. Maybe they want employees to do something differently, or maybe they want to reinforce existing behaviors.
For a couple of employee newsletters I published, effectiveness meant greater awareness of health and safety issues. If newsletter worked, then they should have helped reduce number of plant accidents and helped employees lead healthier lifestyles.
One more point: Effectiveness cannot be achieved without articulated objectives. As old adage goes, "If you don't know where you're going, any road with do." Or, as inimitable Yogi Berra put it, "If you don't know where you are going... You might end up someplace else."
With that, let’s create a quick and easy checklist that takes us through basic steps required for effective communication: