Be more like Phil Spencer to communicate useful advice

Phil SpencerProperty guru Phil Spencer permanently dominates my TV screen – I just can’t seem to escape him.

‘Location’ was already shown wall-to-wall, and with the addition of ‘Phil Spencer: Secret Agent’, there’s no avoiding him.

But despite there being so many Phil Spencer shows to view, you seem to hear the same points repeated across his different programmes.

On the ‘Secret Agent’, for example, Phil helps people to sell their house. You know that almost every show, he’s going to say that bathrooms and kitchens really sell a property – it’s very predictable.

I don’t mind hearing it again if it’s useful information

However, though I’ve heard it a million times I don’t mind hearing it again because it’s essentially useful information (and it will one day help me to sell my house). And of course, the programmes have some entertainment value.

Milking the same point, over and over in your content, is also a principle that works when providing communications hints, tips and advice in the form of blogs, presentations or seminars.

People don’t seem to tire of hearing the same point repeatedly if it’s useful information. In fact, it often acts as a good reminder.

After soaking up your message, your audience inevitably gets caught up with the more important things going on in their lives, and eventually forget the advice they wanted to remember, so a reminder is often welcome.

Banish your doubts and keep repeating your points

You may have some doubts. Isn’t it possible that your audience will get bored of hearing you repeating the same points in your content, even if they are reminders – isn’t it possible to overdo it?

I don’t believe so, and I think there are false assumptions with this way of thinking. One of them is believing that just because you have broadcast or published your content, that everyone has received it.

Take your social media followers, for example. They haven’t necessarily had time to consume your content; the audience you have now isn’t necessarily the audience you had previously; not everyone absorbed your point first time around; and it’s unlikely that most people remembered your point anyway.

And even if people have remembered your point, some people (me included) like not only to be reminded, but also to have good points reinforced, especially if they help me to improve my performance as a communications professional. It’s like having a personal reminder.

Content must be varied to maintain audience interest

Of course, the content has to be varied and interesting. The property programmes use new people, locations and homes to add variation, while making the same points. Bloggers and presenters are more likely to use different stories, anecdotes or examples to achieve the same ends.

Producers of content take a massive risk, however, if they use exactly the same material, repeatedly. In the same way it’s tedious to watch TV repeats, it’s also boring to consume the same online/offline content over and over. That just feels like spam.

So if you want people to notice, absorb and remember your useful communications advice, try to be more like Phil Spencer: vary your content and keep repeating those points.

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