Conversing Like a Real Human Being

There’s something about the shadow of business that causes people to actually strive for a rigid and vanilla tone in their communications.

That’s why the following automated note from Twitter (forgot my password) caught my attention:

Hey there.

Can’t remember your password, huh?

It happens to the best of us.

Please open this link in your browser…

The mere act of being conversational actually causes a basic note on resetting my password to stand out.

Because “corporate speak” has become the de fault for this type of communications.

Dick Costolo wrote a wonderful post over a year ago called “Have a Company Voice.” The following words absolutely nail the issue:

People like it when companies have personalities. It makes us feel like there are actual people on the other side of the communication. It’s fun to be the customer of a company with a personality. This seems totally obvious, and yet you too rarely see companies with distinct personalities really grab your attention in the marketplace. Why is this? It’s actually hard to remove personality and character from communications. So, instead of saying that companies don’t take the time to have personalities, it’s probably more accurate to state that companies don’t allow themselves to show their personalities.

Simply communicating with a conversational tone goes a long way toward allowing a personality to surface.
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2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Dan Holden March 5th, 2009 11:03 am

    Good point, succintly delivered. Traditionally, companies haven’t allowed personality in their communications because they’re more interested in delivering pat corporate messages avoiding messy legal issues. I think blogging and tweeting will eventually get us out of this practice, but not completely. News releases are, after all, legal documents that express the current state of a company’s operations. Advertising has always been a bit more expressive, but not to the level of daily conversation. Let’s hope that as corporate America discovers social media, the emphasis remains on “social.”

  2. Lou Hoffman March 5th, 2009 11:13 am

    Thanks Dan. You’re right. When it comes to blogs and twitter the nature of the media almost forces a conversational tone. Then again, those pesky attorneys aren’t going anywhere.

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