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Words that Work

Luntz is one of the best wordsmiths and thinkers on framing in America. Terrific piece in Businessweek on using language during the recession to communicate more effectively with employees and customers.

Focusing on “impact” also makes a listener pay attention. This one word causes people to assume they will see a measurable difference. People want results. Talking about “effort,” or even “solutions,” doesn’t work; Americans don’t care about good intentions. They want to know how well you execute.

Thanks to our growing dependence on electronic technology, coupled with dwindling free time, another word with increasing resonance is “reliability.” When it comes to such products as automobiles, cable television, and personal communication devices, reliability is now even more important among customers than price. In fact, it’s often a crucial factor in determining the price of a product or service. Value is now the sum of price plus convenience plus reliability.

2 Responses

  1. By Chas Edwards on November 14th, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Andy–That’s a great piece, thanks. At FM, we’ve just started a pilot of Yammer, a private enterprise Twitter, to see if it helps step up internal communications here.

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