Getting Heard

You need to be heard. Whether you’re a musician or a writer, an entrepreneur or an Listen to Meemployee, a parent or a student: Everybody wants their ideas to be recognized and acknowledged by someone. For many of us, being heard makes all the difference in reaching our dreams. 

So the question is, how do you get your audience to hear you?

Obviously there are many possibilities – each with plenty of variations depending on the situation. When it comes to mass marketing, or getting your message to large numbers of people, there are three techniques you’ll see all the time.

The first is repetition. Everyone uses this, from politicians to teachers to businesses. When they have something to say, they say it over and over. It may seem annoying at first, but there actually are several reasons for doing this.

  • Our world becomes more crowded with ads and appeals every day. Anyone who watches television, reads newspapers or magazines, or surfs the internet has noticed how there is more time and space devoted to ads than there used to be, and that the percentage keeps going up.
  • Research has proven that the more messages there are (visual or auditory), the less likely we are to notice any particular one. This is particularly true if you’re not already aware of and looking for a certain message.
  • Conventional wisdom says that a person has to see or hear a message an average of seven times before taking action on it. That may or may not be true, but everyone has experienced the effect. First you notice that you’ve seen or heard it before. After a few more times you realize that you could use the service. And finally you hear it one day and say to yourself, “let me give them a call”.

Another way some people try to be heard is with outrageous behavior – used as a tool to get attention. Celebrities are known for this tactic. Think of the wild stories you hear when an actor or singer wants to get back into the spotlight, or how each new act seems to try to push the limits a little further past what’s “acceptable”.

While these kinds of antics often backfire when taken too far, the principle can be used by most businesses. It’s all about doing something so unexpected that people have no choice but to stop and see what’s going on.

And finally, we can work to be heard by using a unique presentation. This is the origin of such common advice as “think outside the box”. In advertising circles they say to do a common thing in an uncommon way (or vice versa). This could be as simple as using an unexpected color or image on a visual presentation, or a period of silence in an audio ad. It’s also the reason a commercial might show a car floating or flying instead of driving on the road.

All that really matters is that you exercise your creativity!

There are points for and against each of these strategies. But this is the challenge we all face: We need to be heard.

If you need help being heard, contact me today!

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