How to create powerful messages that reach the intended audience
- Communication still plays a central role in how we function in today’s society and has certainly changed in practice and impact.
- Today we live in the reality of words and ideas that have been articulated and documented in laws and guiding principles to determine the paths that society as a whole should take.
The art and practice of communication has come a long way, especially in the African context. We come from a rich storytelling heritage that includes word of mouth and sitting at the feet of trusted elders to hear them tell stories about our culture, our moral values, and how to understand God and each other.
Communication still plays a central role in how we function in today’s society and has certainly changed in practice and impact.
But what is the true essence of communication? It’s easy to assume we understand what it’s all about, given that we practice it every day, audibly or not.
However, examining the genesis of communications to answer this question will lead us down the path of developing meaningful, effective and impactful messages for intended audiences.
Think of something about which you have a strong opinion. How did you get there? You have probably developed a position from a thought in your mind that you have meditated on and which can be further cemented by personal experiences.
This original thought can also lead you down the path of action. Our articulation of messages follows a similar path. We take what is invisible, namely our thoughts and ideas, and then turn them into words, which we share through different channels.
Ultimately, our words create worlds and contexts in which we and our surroundings inhabit.
Today we live in the reality of words and ideas that have been articulated and documented in laws and guiding principles to determine the paths that society as a whole should take.
What world do we envision for ourselves tomorrow? The answer lies in how and in what we communicate. At the individual level, the flow of a person’s life can be seen in the way they think and the environment in which they articulate themselves to live.
We have a chance to change how and what we communicate in Africa. We can review the basis of what we say and ensure that we are motivated by the need to change and transform those who interact with our messages.
This is all the more important given the current reality in which we find ourselves. Covid-19 has changed the world in many ways over the past two years. This evolution continues to occur as we challenge long-held beliefs and assumptions about ourselves, our communities, and the systems and structures on which we have historically based our lives.
How can we be more attentive to what we communicate? We can go beyond what we have always known, namely to match a message with the intended recipients through various communication channels. How can we play an intentional role in shaping the narrative we live in as a nation, especially as we head into this year’s general election?
As communicators, let us chart a new course and be providers of reliable, accurate and unbiased information that is essential in providing people in different settings of society with a basis to shape their actions and plans for the future.
Onduru is a communication professional