Mass Communication Is Second Best

There is no more effective communication than a one-on-one, eye-to-eye, conversation with another human.

Full stop.

Selling something? Your best shot is over lunch, person to person.

Persuade an adversary to your viewpoint? To even have a chance it’ll be face-to-face.

Woo your love? You get the idea.

If this is true, then why would you ever use mass communication channels if they don’t work as well? 

Simple. One-on-one conversations don’t scale. There’s only so much of your time in a day. You can’t increase your time, but you can increase your reach.

This means to make mass communication effective, your best bet is to emulate a personal conversation.

So, what do personal conversations, en masse, look like?

Writing a radio ad? Don’t talk to everyone in radio land. Talk to a single listener.

Print ad? It’s not “to all the readers.” It’s to one reader.

Sending out a newsletter? I’m not talking to the collective subscribers. I’m talking to you. It’s just you and me here and we’re having a delightful conversation. Don’t you think?

So, just to recap, when possible, nothing beats having a one-on-one in-person conversation. That’s when you’re most effective.

But that’s not always possible. Which means the second most effective option is to only “talk” to one person in your mass communications.

That’s all. But hey…by the way, off topic… I just wanted to say thanks for chatting with me. 

Same time next week?

– Zac Smith, VC