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Why using manners could maximise your communications’ impact

When it comes to national awareness days, there’s pretty much one for everything nowadays.

While some draw attention to fundraising for charitable causes, others seem slightly less worthy (National Talk Like A Pirate Day, we’re looking at you!).

But there’s a little-known one this month that we are loving here at The Effective English Company.

The day after Thanksgiving – Nov 23 this year – has become firmly known as Black Friday, both in America and here on this side of the pond. It’s a day where shops slash their prices and consumers go crazy, fighting to get the best deals on a new TV or pair of trainers.

But for the last few years there’s been a quiet movement taking place across social media, aimed at counteracting the madness.

You’re Welcome Day promotes the importance of manners. Its exact origins are unknown but it is believed to have started some time in the early noughties, as a counterpoint to the excess of the day before. A sort of “we’ve all had a lovely time saying thanks, now let’s think about expanding this to other forms of politeness”.

When it comes to communications we believe that a little bit of niceness can go a long way.

Think about your own communications to staff – what percentage of the messages you send are purely instructional? You send out an email or a newsletter asking people to do something or change something, but how often do you send anything purely to say “well done” or “good job”?

A common question we receive from clients is: “How can we make our communications stand out?” And a common complaint we hear from their staff is: “All the emails are the same. They only ever send them when they want us to do something, or when something’s gone wrong.”

Mixing up your communications with some manners can do wonders for getting your message across; people can easily become numb to internal messaging if they feel there’s never anything positive in it for them. A little bit more carrot and a little less stick can be the difference between people actually reading what you write or hitting delete before they’ve even got past the email header.

Of course, it’s not just email that can be used. How about sending thank you cards to staff for their efforts? An NHS trust we’ve worked with in the past recently came up with a range of thank you card designs for managers to give to their staff, and the communications team were overwhelmed with people desperate to get their hands on them.

We know that the demands of business and the need to get urgent messages out will often take precedence over the ‘niceties’. If you’re finding it hard to find time for the ‘nice’ comms, contact us to see how we could help you make the time for these messages.

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