Friday, 8 August 2014

There's no substitute for good communication

We're back from a relaxing holiday in deepest, sunniest Norfolk.

Yes, it WAS very lovely, thank you.

It was a thorough 'digital detox' with no access to emails or social media - and not even a phone signal where we were based.

Once a day we did walk out of the village to a bus shelter where we discovered we could get two bars of signal (most of the time) so that we could receive a daily text update from our 15-year-old son who was in Germany performing at the World Festival of Children's Theatre.

We were always keen to hear that our son was still having a great time - and sometimes he was having such a good time that the expected daily text wasn't there when we arrived at the bus shelter.

It set me thinking about how technology changes - but not people, relationships or the principles of communication. Before mobile phones and the internet came along - you just had to use other methods to stay in touch.

My husband admitted to me that when he was a teenager on his first solo holiday - a Scout camp in his case - his mum packed him off with a couple of stamped addressed postcards that he could pop into a postbox to let them know he'd arrived safely and give them an update during the week.

Guess what? The postcards were still in his rucksack, unused, when he came home.

In 2014, businesses can benefit from time-saving technology and reach their own staff and their customers online in a heartbeat. But the companies that see the best results are the ones that understand the importance of honest, timely communication that is created with the needs and concerns of the intended audience front of mind. That's something that has not changed down the years, and I don't expect it ever will.

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