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Current Trend: Breaking through to the other side

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Current Trend
Getting the attention of your audience is and will always be one of the most important factors of communication and these days audiences are spread across many media: television, print media, radio and the internet, including websites, social media, search engines and more.

So the challenge, how can you reach them all?

Well firstly, it's not always about reaching everyone with your message. It's about considering who will benefit from your message and developing a strategy that will not only reach them, but also engage them.

Communication is a process that involves listening, speaking and listening again. It's not enough to know your message but you also need to understand your audience. What's important to them and what are their concerns? This is the first step of the listening process.

When it comes to sharing your message, it's is a matter of talking 'to' rather than talking 'at' your audience. Give your message relevance, otherwise it may end up going unnoticed with the mountains of information we are bombarded with every day.

Communication is about conversations, especially when it comes to the internet. Give your audience the opportunity to easily engage with you and offer feedback. There's no excuse not to with the many, many channels available: email, forums, Facebook, Twitter, bookmarking, blogs, and the list goes on.

The internet has become one of the best ways to gather intelligence on how people perceive your brand and your offerings. Take a look at Dell, who started the site Ideastorm so their customers could make suggestions, give feedback and share information about their products.

Getting your message to your audience can be like fishing, casting your message out there and using it to reel your audience in. Your message will need to be targeted to reach the right audience, taking into account what they are reading, watching, listening to, what online communities and websites are they visiting, etc. and then using them to direct your audience back to you. Maybe it's to your website, your office or even just picking up the phone and calling.

If you integrate your methods, it's like casting a big net over your audience. The technology may have evolved but the fundamentals remain the same.

The best advice I was ever given was, "people buy from people" and this applies to whatever business you may be in. So be real and be approachable and don't let your brand get in the way of your audience.