At the beginning of the year we issued a trends report for our clients. We identified eight key trends which internal communicators need to be aware of and use optimally in their communication plans.
Top of the trends list is INFOBESITY.
Yip, it is what it says – we are suffering from the dis-ease of an overabundance of information. Weighed down by too much.
Alvin Toffler spoke of this in his best-selling 1970s book, “Future Shock”,which refers to the difficulty a person can have understanding an issue and making decisions that can be caused by the presence of too much information.Here we are in 2014, speaking to the same subject matter.
However, the volume of information has escalated to such enormous proportions that many knowledge workers are suffering from the negative effects of this avalanche of information.
How do we as internal communicators address INFOBESITY?
‘Less is more’ should be our mantra. Apply it to:
- WORDS When writing, say what you need to – simply. Don’t overwrite. Use short, punchy, engaging text.
- INFOGRAPHICS Create images which condense your message in graphics which speak volumes.
- PHOTOGRAPHY Use pictures which tell 1000 words and create a story in the mind of the receiver.
That’s it in a nutshell. You should stop reading here.
If you need more convincing through some infobesity, consider these stats:
- The daily New York Times now contains more information that the 17th century man or woman would have encountered in a lifetime.
- A search on Google on the term “information overload” produced 3,340,000 results in 2011. In 2014 it gives you 15 000 000 results (and growing daily).
- From the beginning of time till 2003 we generated 5 billion gigabytes of data. By 2013 we were generating that much data every 10 minutes. (Paul Laudicina, Speakeasy)
If you are wondering why I stated that knowledge workers are suffering from the effects of INFOBESITY?
Here are some of the final findings:
- 66% feel they don’t have enough time to get all of their work done.
- 94% at some point have felt overwhelmed by information to the point of incapacity.
- 30% have no time at all for thought and reflection during their day, and 58% had only between 15 and 30 minutes.
Relieve the pressure on your organisation by ensuring that INFOBESITY is not filling their inboxes or proliferating throughout your media channels. Understand your communication objective, and tell it – simply.
Michelle Caldeira is on LinkedIn
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