Posted tagged ‘management’

Say it as it is

05/04/2009

“…It is a legislative requirement not to smoke in this bus station…”

PA announcement heard in St Helens Bus Station

The Bodyproject stakeholder management methodology looks closely at the use of language within communications and we never cease to be amazed at the way some organisations do everything they can not to use direct words.

I recently spotted a display sign at Wigan train station saying the train originates here!  How about the train starts here.  The quote at the head of this page is a case in point.  Where a simple smoking is not allowed or please do not smoke would be fine instead a grand word such as legislative is used.  What does that mean and can the average user of the bus station even understand it?

Smoking of course is an emotive topic and so is telling someone to stop or that they can’t do it.  The NHS at the vanguard of stopping smoking can’t quite bring itself to say stop smoking and talks about smoking cessation.  What is that?  I also heard the use of the words discontinuation of smoking.  Interestingly it is often the public sector that uses this sort of language.  Commercial organisations, in this case the makers of Nicorette patches use the straight forward quit smoking as a call to action.

The main point we at Bodyproject try to get over is to keep things simple and communicate so the person you are trying to get the message to can understand it.  If you want someone to stop or quit smoking then say it.  Asking them to participate in cessation or discontinuation as it is a legislative requirement might just not work.

To find out more about the Bodyproject stakeholder management methodology, our seven rules of effective communication and our thoughts on language please get in touch through the contact tab on this site.