Five Tips from a Toddler’s PR Representative

As a mom of a toddler, I watch my daughter’s communication skills grow daily. From those baby babbles to first words, she’s learning the power of effective communication already. Most of the time, she relies heavily on her favorite all-powerful word: “No!”  (Bedtime? Bathtime? Broccoli? No , No, Nooooooooo!)

But in all her little toddler demands, I’ve realized that she mostly wants to know that we understand her.  She has things to say, in her own little language, and she wants reassurance that she is getting her message out.

As her mother, that makes me her PR representative in a way. It’s my job to help her communicate.  And surprisingly, the fundamentals to be a toddler’s PR representative are applicable to business communications as well.

Here are the top 5 tactics:

  1. Use simple words: Choose simple and clear words in your communications. Throw out the jargon, and try to explain your business as you would to my daughter.
  2. Consistency: Keep your message consistent.  If I tell my daughter a ball is a ball today and the next day I tell her that the ball is a cat, she would understandably be confused.
  3. Repeat it back and say it again: She may not understand the first time. Or the second time. But by the fourth or fifth time- or hundredth time she hears the message, it may get through.
  4. The magic number is three: Research shows that we can only remember three things from any conversation. Focus on those three messages.
  5. The magic word is “please”: I’ve been working on it, but my daughter hasn’t learned this one yet. But it’s a good one. We should strive to be polite in our dealings; with social media you never know who is listening or watching your interactions.

Today, with more tools than ever before to get our messages out (hello Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and so many others), it’s noisier – and even more important to focus on communication fundamentals and make sure what we are saying counts.  

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