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Putting the ‘human touch’ back into comms


When you think about the difference between business and consumer comms, it’s all too easy to get bogged down in the intricacies of how you might approach content, style and tone.  

But when you step back and evaluate the dividing line between businesses and the wider public, a shift in perspective is required for us to do our best work.

Breaking down the barriers

In comms, there comes a time when delineations we once set in place end up pulling us further away from identifying the true purpose of our work and really seeing our audiences.

Going back to basics can help us to refocus and see our work through a different lens, one that will deliver real benefits for clients and communities. If we tackle our work with this human-led approach, the output is more likely to resonate with the audience and deliver the intended outcome.

After all, we all consume content in different ways, and the audience doesn’t necessarily make the distinction between B2B and B2C. Some of the best LinkedIn posts often have an interesting, funny or emotive pull to them – we are not robots.

Authenticity and empathy

There are a few traits identified in humanistic psychology that are worth getting to know when putting the ‘human’ back into comms.

The first is empathy. Putting yourself in your audience’s shoes, understanding the best ways to get the reaction you want, is essential.

Authenticity is another. Being true to yourself and the values you or your client holds can make or break your chance at resonating with your audience – people aren’t stupid and can smell inauthenticity from a mile off. We can often see this with (usually legitimate) accusations of greenwashing, for example.

Listening is also important, if we don’t listen to the audience and get to know them, how can we communicate with meaningful purpose?

For example, the engagement and social impact work we deliver for our clients in the built environment is informed by people’s responses on the ground. Asking people, in tangible terms, what their needs and wants are can prompt ideas of how a new development could deliver on local priorities, enabling our clients to build better relationships with communities through delivering new homes, amenities and green open space that means something for the people already living there.  

When it comes to town planning, our clients’ proposals are not just a series of technical drawings. When communicated in the right way, they are opportunities to create a truly positive impact beyond simple bricks and mortar.

Ask yourself this…

When you strip away the what, when, why and how, you are left with the ‘who’. Understanding who your audience is – their drives, expectations and ambitions – is vital.

This is the question to ask yourself when youre wondering how to approach communities and audiences in an authentic, human way. It’s also perhaps the first step in acknowledging that regardless of what brief you’re working on – your audience is human, and perhaps equally important is the reminder that you are too.

We’re the Meeting Place of deep knowledge and creative thinking. And we want to hear from you.