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Time for ‘Total Communications’ (just like Total Football, but without the ball, and you don’t have to be Dutch either)

Footballer types will be familiar with the Dutch concept of Total Football, pioneered by the great Dutch footballer Johann Cruyff. It was a method of play that meant any player could interchange with another in any position on the pitch. Characterised by space and movement (he says, channelling his inner Alan Hansen punditry), it was a philosophy that unified the whole team.

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Communications shouldn’t be any different.

If you think about every single touch point that a business has with its customers, suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders, how consistent are the communications? For instance, it’s all well and good publishing a beautiful new website that embodies the ideas of plain and simple English, but all that good work is undermined when a business renewal letter is sent to a client that is full of ‘herewiths’ and ‘thereofs’ and other intelligible dirge.

What do the signs in your reception say about your business? What about the all staff email from the CEO? The language used on a trade stand? Brochures? The company’s LinkedIn profile? Even the sign off at the bottom of each employee’s email? Employee benefit statements?

You get the idea…every single communication point must not only be consistent in terms of its language and execution but must almost be identifiable with another. There is no point the group communications or marketing team pioneering an approach to communication if it’s not adopted by the facilities department, customer services, sales, HR…

Call it Total Communications.

Cruyff turn anyone?

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