The biggest influence in how you communicate?

20Years Communications Book Kevin PopovicWe all come from different walks of life within the communications industry. So it’s no surprise that how we communicate is influenced by who we are, who were communicating to, the demands of our particular industry and the goals of our businesses and our client partners businesses. One thing stands out however. We’re all in this together.

amazon-125From 20YEARS Communications: 20 Leaders, 20 Questions, 100’s of Lessons by Kevin Popovic


Dorian Biegay says:

November 16, 2010 at 3:33 am

The biggest influence in how I communicate comes from having to deal with so many disparate cultures and “mind sets.” To be effective, the message communicated has to be simple, clear and relevant to the person/group being addressed.


Craig Otto says:

November 18, 2010 at 7:55 pm

My biggest influence is my earliest influence. It’s the joy I get from really connecting with another person. That joy isn’t always happy, but in whatever shape it takes, joy has always remained my most powerful motivation to communicate.

Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp are also strong influences on me. What I learned from them is that nobody on Earth really wants to hear what I have to say, no matter how important my ego tells me it may be. They were masters of disruption, entertainment and surprise. And they were impossible to ignore.


Diana Dugina Dugina says:

November 18, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Seeing what is to be before it is, begins with listening.


Karen J. Marchetti says:

November 18, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Coming from a Direct Marketing emphasis into Internet Marketing is the single biggest driver of how I write copy today. Direct Marketers have always focused on “testing your way to success” and that testing and analysis emphasis has continued into creation of websites, landing pages, and email campaigns.

We learned from the masters who tested everything to find what worked best. Herschell Gordon Lewis, a master direct response copywriter, whose books are widely used by copywriters who measure results. Jacob Weisberg, a master communications specialist (and perhaps, the father of the whole “scan-ability” concept — something Jacob was talking about long before the Internet). Colin Wheildon, author of “Are you communicating, or just making pretty pictures,” whose 9 years of design testing created essentially the “bible” of direct-response design, in terms of exactly how fonts, font size, italics, bolds, etc. affect comprehension. And Bob Hacker, who first introduced us to the 7 emotional drivers in copy, those key emotions that tend to drive response (“while it’s true that sex may attract attention, sex doesn’t tend to end up driving leads and sales profitably.”).

It’s interesting to see how the different approaches to copywriting have, and continue, to evolve: the brand-building advertising approach that relies on the big creative idea, the follow-the-sales process direct response approach that gets even better with testing, the “inverted pyramid” approach of PR that’s now frequently being used on the web. As a marketing strategist and copywriter, it’s still exciting to see what latest approach is now getting the best results.


Bonnie says:

November 19, 2010 at 4:04 am

Writing for the web changed how I communicate. I came from print, and I had to learn a whole new skill. Also, being aware of measurement. Now I ask, Do I even need to communicate this? Does this fit into the larger goal?


Kevin Popović says:

November 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm

What were the big differences you saw writing for print versus writing for the web, Bonnie?


Chauncey Smith says:

November 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm

My mom was the single biggest influence on how I communicate, because she listened a whole lot more than she spoke. She was an administrative assistant, active in the community, in our church and usually in a leadership position.

What I noticed is that she was an incredibly effective communicator and comfortable with just about anyone in any environment. Her co-workers, friends and colleagues would seek her counsel because they trusted her to help them understand their situations with an objective point of view.

I watched the concept of “seek first to understand, then be understood” personified throughout my life and have grown to appreciate the value of that lesson as I apply it to communication design and analysis.


Todd Liss says:

November 20, 2010 at 12:17 am

The biggest influence on how I communicate is who I am communicating to. Communication is most effective when the two parties can find a common ground and understand each other. Not knowing and understanding who one is before trying to connect, could lead to the message being ignored or lost, or worst of all being misunderstood or misinterpreted. Sure I have learned a lot from the giants before me, but every day I am surprised with how much I learn from those who I communicate with.


Molly Jarrell says:

November 24, 2010 at 5:27 pm

My biggest influence was communicating during the 2003 and 2007 San Diego wildfires. Communicating in a crisis sharpens your skills and magnifies any gaps in your plans. Those wildfires were like a crucible for the way I communicate today.


Hunter A. Homistek says:

February 13, 2013 at 5:59 pm

For me, it’s impossible to point to a singular “greatest” influence on how I communicate. I think I pick up something new every day that changes how I write in the future. I’m constantly learning new skills and honing existing skills due to a variety of influences. My audience, my mentor, outside readings, face-to-face interactions with people–these all affect how I communicate.


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