Communication problem? Ask a nurse.

Ok, this may sound weird, but indulge me for a second.

We are in the communications business. Even though our clients’ businesses may run the gamut, we often rely on the same methods of communicating, just with different subject matter.

Recently I was privy to an internal communications project where a consumer marketing company tried something a little different. The discovery portion of the project involved interviewing professionals completely outside the company’s industry to see how they communicate. Professions where clear, simple and efficient communication is critical, like nursing and emergency response, were sampled. I say, “Brilliant!”

This got me to thinkin’. Too often, we get so caught up in our own lingo and best practices that we lose sight of what we really are in this business to do—solve problems and communicate. Approaching every problem with the mindset of getting our point across as clearly and impactfully as possible should be the criteria for every project. Never mind what the industry says we’re supposed to do.

People respond to the unique. Unique doesn’t always have to mean outrageous or shocking, just different from what the audience is used to. Talk to me like everybody else talks to me, and I feel like I’ve heard it before. Talk to me differently, and I feel like you have something interesting to say. Anything other than that gives me little reason to look up from my smartphone.

— Kurt Miller, Associate Creative Director


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