As an Indianapolis advertising agency, we are constantly challenging ourselves and our clients to be better communicators. Whether that means honing value propositions and brand positions, crafting key messaging or message platforms, testing different language and call-to-actions in direct mail and digital marketing, writing plans, briefs and emails, expressing ideas and point-of-views, or providing tighter strategic and creative direction.
Many times the way we communicate to each other gets convoluted and complicated. Like most customers, clients and prospects, we don’t want to get caught up in a dissertation or documentary. What we want and what we have time for is the skinny.
As specialists in communications, the skinny is one of our most powerful tools. It allows us to use the fewest number of words to get to the point. The skinny is a string of words, spoken or written, that offers the essence of what we need to know without extraneous information or content. No digression. No running around the barn. No diving into rabbit holes.
But be careful not to confuse skinny with thin. When information and direction is thin, more communication is required to clarify and confirm what we’re dealing with before we can move forward.
Much like quality Web design, if the content is thin so is its value. The skinny is the sweet spot. It is the perfect place between random thoughts and a brain dump, or between bread crumbs and a water hose.
Perfecting the art of communication requires the ability to express the skinny, mentoring colleagues on how to deliver the skinny and deploying the skinny in all forms of communications – interpersonal, internal and external communication via digital and mobile marketing, social media, advertising, Webinars or email newsletters.
As a communications professional, never be shy about asking colleagues and associates to give you the skinny. If executed correctly, it increases response and reduces frustration as well as saves time and money.