Effective communication depends on ensuring that every aspect of the communication, from the message, the format of the message and the medium used have been chosen to match the abilities of both the sender and receiver.
Bernard Matthews, the UK’s largest turkey producer, discovered that the ‘noise’ caused by earlier negative press articles several years ago meant the company lost consumer confidence and business. Paying attention to overcoming any barriers in its communications to different stakeholder groups had since had a positive impact on the company’s reputation and sales
Barriers for Bernard Matthews included poor public perception. However, sender and receiver having different languages is another obvious barrier to communication.
The BBC’s technology programme, Click, has reported that there is a new social network, themultilife.com which has developed a new way of crossing this barrier. Messages added in your own language are automatically translated to the recipient’s chosen language and an in-built speech synthesiser speaks translated sentences out loud, so those with sight disabilities can participate. (BBC, 13th April 2012)
Bernard Matthews needed to refocus on the needs of its stakeholders, for example, consumers and the media, and target appropriate messages in the right medium.
The communications campaign included the use of high-profile sports personalities and celebrity chef Marco Pierre White to capture public interest in its products, as well as traditional TV and press advertising. The company has also established management meetings with the media to ensure the company’s messages are conveyed clearly.
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