Breaking the Communication Barrier between Departments

Over a recent dinner conversation with a friend, he ‘confessed’ to me that he has a very difficult time communicating with the marketing department. He works with numbers and data that contain valuable information for the marketing department, but when he emails or shows this data to the marketing department, they seem to ignore it or nod politely (I can see some of you nodding your heads right now). He explained to me the details of what he was trying to get across to the marketing team. He truly does have important information – information that, quite possibly, could change a company’s marketing strategy, and in the end increase profits. So what should he do?

Here are my suggestions:

Speak in layman’s terms
– that means, basic, easy to understand conversational language. Practice on someone in a different department to see if you are getting it right.

Create an infographic
– If you don’t understand, here is the definition from Wikipedia, “infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends.” Graphic designers can help with this task, or search the web for companies that specialize in infographics, like Pictochart, Venngage or Canva.

Take your layman’s terms and your infographic and present it, but make sure you do it this way: Give a great presentation explaining the data with an infographic, handing the infographic and any other necessary information to your audience (yes, I am talking paper, but make it interesting paper too, not just the usual copy paper) and then email it to them as well.

Sidenote: Oh, and if you’re asking, ‘what’s with the paper?’ Here’s the answer, there are four types of learners: (1) visual (that’s the infographic – and by the way, marketers are typically visual), (2) auditory (that’s why you are presenting a verbal message in layman’s terms, so that you are heard), (3) logical (that’s the data) and (4) tactile (that’s why you are giving out paper and emailing the graphic – this is for people that learn by touch and by doing). Thus, by doing all this, you will communicate efficiently and effectively with the people you are trying to reach — you are ‘meeting’ them where they are and how they process information.

That’s it. Go do it – communicate well and save the world, make a profit, whatever.

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About the Author

Lisa Korhnak

I am a strategic integrated marketing communications professional with over 20 years of award-winning experience. My goal is to provide insight and solutions to small businesses and organizations -- spreading the word about their product, service or cause. The end result is to help gain recognition, create growth and profit.