Swearingen Communications Insights

Fresh ideas, seasoned perspectives, and solid marketing strategies to keep you grounded and growing.


Are You Communicating Like a Thoroughbred, Old Nag, or Ass?

A successful communications program is like a prize thoroughbred: It takes you where you want to go. It sets goals. It’s sleek and disciplined. It undergoes rigorous checks and evaluation. Long before leaving the gate, it plots the route and anticipates obstacles. It applies critical thinking and focuses on doing its personal best. No wonder it racks up consistent wins, attracts fans, and positively impacts the bottom line.

Not so the “nag” approach. Nag communications plod along aimlessly. There’s little purpose, much less a destination. It’s long-winded. It takes forever to make a point. It drags around tired messages like moldy hay, looking for a buyer. Through neglect or age or both, it’s grown tired and lame. It wastes time and resources. Even worse, nags invite disrespect and exasperation. The smartest, most humane approach to any nag communications program is to put it out to pasture. Or down.

Then there’s the “ass” or more politely, “burro” style of communications. (note: I happen to be a big fan of burros, just not when it comes to communicating). Stubborn defines this communications approach. It has zero flexibility or adaptability. It knows what and how it wants to communicate, period.  It’s been known to bite, strike with the front hooves, or kick with its hind legs anything that challenges it. No matter its channel of communication, it brays loudly and interminably. It’s safe to say that its largest audience is itself and the poor victims within proximity.

Which model best matches your communication efforts? Are yours sleek and disciplined? Wandering and confused? Or insistent and loud? Like a fine horse, the best communications are commanding, attractive, consistent, memorable, and carry your business across the finish line.

Leave a Comment