Magnified Hearing(Note: This article was written for and originally published by Brand Quarterly in March 2015.)

We are preoccupied with messaging.

From 140 characters to sixty seconds; Pinterest to YouTube. From the candidate to the evening news anchor, we place a premium on what we say, and how we say it.

The preoccupation is understandable. Personal experience underscores the value of being able to get our point across. Consider how quickly an infant learns that loud and frantic crying is a sure way to relieve the pangs of hunger.

But as innocent as its genesis might be, the obsession precipitates an approach to communication that, when mature, actually limits effectiveness.

We begin to believe that message delivery equates to the art of communication.

Oh, some of us enjoy discussing and hypothesizing over the science of it all. We query focus groups, pour over research and flirt with Big Data. But all too often this is simply prelude; what we really want…what we are infatuated with and will invest in mightily is the art of it all.

From the moment we realize we have a point of view, let alone a measure of conviction or a product or service to sell, we want to do whatever it takes to get the word out. Narrative, elements of design, and channels for distribution are the subject of attention and investment.

Possessing a message is exciting, invigorating. And we rush to cast it about. Hear our message world.

Yet, often when all is said and done — in spite of award-winning creative, jaw-dropping production and distribution genius — marketers are left to wonder what went wrong when efforts fall short. Or completely miss the mark.

If even part of this resonates, stick with me for a few more paragraphs. This is not about the problem; but about a solution.

Remembering Where Communication Begins (click here for full article at Brand Quarterly)