Communications principles

This is a primer on communications principles for you and your colleagues. It’s based on thousands of years of storytelling, the dark arts of public relations, and modern neuroscience.

It’s never been quicker, cheaper or easier to connect with audiences. But we don’t often take the time to think carefully about how we communicate. That means the most important messages – and the right arguments – often get drowned out.

I’ve road-tested these communications principles in a busy press office, and it will take around 30 minutes to complete the course. It’ll give you practical tips on how to connect with your audience, change minds – and make good things happen.

Jeremy Porter’s Comms 101′ inspired this course, and conversations with the team at Cast from Clay made it better.

What you’ll learn

  • Why storytelling is a such a compelling way to convey information
  • How to use frames to organise facts and opinions
  • The three modes of persuasion, and how to mobilise them
  • How to craft effective messages that will connect you and your audience

Stories help us to think and to relate to each other

How the structure of stories – and the shared experience of storytelling – helps us to think.

Read part one

Frames organise facts and our views of the world

Words, and the metaphorical scaffolding they put around the world, shape our view of the world and what’s possible.

Read part two

Persuasion gives your arguments the power to motivate

Analytical thinking isn’t the default circuit – which has important consequences for communications.

Read part three

Messages tell stories and evoke frames

Once your words have been spoken, broadcast or published online they’re no longer yours – how they’re interpreted is almost completely out of your hands. So choose them carefully.

Read part four