16 things communicators dread hearing

‘We need an app!’ ‘We need a video!’ ‘Can you just post this on our website homepage?’ Read on for more deplorable demands and ridiculous requests.

What comms dread hearing

One drawback to working in communications is the inevitable deluge of requests.

Pleas for assistance come from all directions, at all hours. They are inevitably “urgent” and must be turned around ASAP.

You can just whip up that PowerPoint slideshow, write that speech and create a neat flyer, right? Can’t we just create an app?

If you’re a communicator, you know the hassle of being besieged by asinine, unreasonable requests. Here are 16 that might sound painfully familiar:

  • “What we need is a communications plan.” (Good call, chief.)
  • “Your communications team isn’t ‘strategic’ enough.” (Then again, your strategists don’t communicate.)
  • “We need a Facebook page for this!” (A post, maybe?)
  • “We need an app!” (Uhhh, probably not.)
  • “We need a video!” (Oh, definitely not.)
  • “What we need is a ‘hearts and minds’ campaign.” (“Hearts and minds”? Have you ever met our Board of Directors?)
  • “Our intranet is rubbish.” (Your participation, attitude and contributions make up several mounds thereof.)
  • “We really need this on the website homepage.” (Feel free to put your walk-a-thon pictures elsewhere, thank you.)
  • “You really need to be in this meeting!” (Sorry, I’ve got my hands full making our communications team “strategic.”)
  • “I’ve designed this leaflet. Can you just send it out, please?” (Did your child make this? No.)
  • “Could you promote this <insert ancillary pet project> on Facebook?” (Seems like a perfect fit for your own personal page.)
  • “We need a logo for this new project.” (How about a hand giving the thumbs-down?)
  • “We have organized a competition with a local school to create a logo.” (Then I’ll be taking a sick day/week/month.)
  • “Our communication is too reactive.” (OK, let me get my Magic 8-Ball.)
  • “We need to ‘shout about ourselves’ more.” (Yes, that’s what readers truly crave.)
  • “We really need you to promote our event!” (Oh, it’s happening at 4 p.m. today? Let me see what I have lying around in my magic communications workshop…)

Do any of these ring a bell? What are your most common requests and gripes? Feel free to vent in the comments.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and owner of creative communicators ltd. A version of this post first appeared on comms2point0.


5 Responses to “16 things communicators dread hearing”

    Liz says:

    We need to rebrand ourselves. (We do not. We just need to be clear about our value proposition, and perhaps, have one…)

    Or my favourite:

    We need (insert any old-school marketing tool here: brochure/fact-sheet/presentation) to market this (thing that no one outside our company wants/needs) and solves (only our own internally dysfunctional technology/process/solution gap) – oh and can you make it “sexy”/sizzle/jazzy?

    Chris Bozman says:

    Them: “We need a communications plan.” (I create strategic, brilliantly written communications plan and send.)
    Them: “Where is the communications plan?”
    Me: “I sent it to you last week.”
    Them: “Oh that. No, I need a PLAN. Like this.” (Attaches God-awful Excel spreadsheet example with lists of tactics, dates and dashboard lights.)
    Me: “That’s not a communications plan. There are no objectives, strategy or messages. How do we know what tactics we need unless we’ve agreed first on what we’re trying to accomplish and who we need to reach?”
    Them: “But this is how we’ve ALWAYS DONE communications plans.”
    Me: “Not anymore.”
    Them: “But what you did doesn’t fit our template.”
    Me to Myself: OH DEAR GOD…

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