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The Simple Fact Is:

A lot of business messages talk right past their intended audiences. Because even though the authors (or sponsors) of these messages may believe they “know the customer,” what they really know are tables of data and mounds of metrics. They don't pause to “think like the customer”...or the employee, or the potential business partner…who may be looking for entirely different information, driven by their own concerns and priorities.

For most of my career in advertising, production and employee communication and training, I have been helping organizations break this
language barrier.

My employers (and their clients) have been as varied as one of the world's most popular family vacation destinations, the cruise industry,
a leader in vacation ownership, a major pharmaceutical company and a Fortune 100 industry and technology real estate developers,
a regional dairy, a metropolitan children's museum and the solid waste industry.

In the course of this work, I've observed a few things:

• Clients are invariably too close to their product or service. For them, everything about it is important! Well, it is darned hard work to
develop a message hierarchy...and then stick to it. But it must be done. Otherwise, you'll drown your customers in numbing details.

• When internal corporate initiatives for such laudable goals as improved quality and greater customer satisfaction are launched with directives
full of fuzzy platitudes and loosely-framed goals, the folks on the front lines (who are expected to put the plan into action through their efforts)
often cannot translate those lofty statements into anything that reflects what they see on the job every day.

• We all converse in the vernacular of our occupations. And to everyone outside of that circle, it might as well be Mandarin we're speaking!
When gifted scientists and technology gurus help craft a new business sales message that's aimed at C-level executives and B-school grads,
there are sure to be blank faces staring back.

• “Business speak” is the bane of our corporate existence. From the lowly memo to the annual report, it creeps like kudzu. If you want to read
about leveraging your robust value proposition at the granular level by disintermediating through integrated organic channels...there are plenty
of in-flight magazines that are a better choice for you.

Still, few things please me as much as taking a message that's technically complex or strategically
broad and then condensing it, translating it and simplifying produce wide eyes of delighted
surprise and knowing nods of understanding.

Unless maybe it's a classic automobile, a ripe nectarine or the writing of Charles Kuralt.