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Column: What's behind great insurance messaging?

Column: What's behind great insurance messaging? | Insurance Business UK

Column: What's behind great insurance messaging?

A Press release is a remarkable body of work, regaling substantial information in spare sentences and offering insight and flavour to the full weight of evolutions occurring across the insurance profession.

Insurance firms of every size and delineation have multiple touchpoints with the wider public throughout the year – be it through new hires, rebrands, product overhauls or M&A activity. Each of these brings its own opportunities for a business to raise its brand equity and ingratiate itself in the eyes of a broader clientele. And communicating with purpose at every juncture has become more critical than ever as firms look to boost their brand and standing in an ever-more competitive and challenging marketplace.

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Of course, the communication between an insurance business and a wider audience of strategic partners and the consumer market doesn’t stop short at widely distributed releases that wend their way into the headlines and column inches of the national and trade press. Every communication between a business and its staff, its customers and its partners is an integral part of the brand you are building and the message you are sending about your purpose and ambitions.

So, whether you’re crafting an internal memo, a shareholder presentation, or even a social media post there are a variety of dos and don’ts that go into successful communications – and Press releases offer a wealth of information on how to create the best output possible.

Finding your words

It’s not always easy to find the right words to match the sentiments you’re attempting to express and the added pressure of so many external eyes only complicates it further. The best Press releases exemplify the language and tone required to drive a point home with clarity and succinctness.

Brevity has long been hailed as the soul of wit and it finds a natural bedfellow in the communications between an organisation and its stakeholders. Not working to some invisible word count is essential as the only metric that truly matters is whether or not you have said everything you set out to say in a way that is accessible.

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On the point of accessibility, great communication is designed to reach out to and resonate with the widest possible audience. In the expert advice of C.S. Lewis, “Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise, you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”

Save your truly inventive wordplay for your next game of Countdown or Scrabble – unassuming and unpretentious words and phrasing are the often unappreciated lifeblood of accessible messaging.

Know your audience

The power of words to invent and to destroy is widely recognised and, as a natural follow up to the above point about accessibility, understanding the ‘who’ and the ‘why’ of your audience is critical to crafting and sharing timely and relevant information. Recognising the differing requirements of shareholders as opposed to clients or industry peers is not something that comes naturally and it takes time and attention in equal measure.

No experienced insurance professional wants to wade through extensive and unnecessary explanations of the processes they deal with on a daily basis. But then, on the other hand, no consumer wants a flurry of acronyms directed their way with little reference points to how these letters impact their own insurance journey.

An objective and critical evaluation of the Press releases and trading updates published by insurance businesses is a lesson in and of itself in the subtleties required when interacting with a substantial audience with varying degrees of expertise.

The power of partnerships

Beyond its valuable insights into accessibility, language, tone and the importance of knowing your audience, a great Press release also impresses upon the reader the power that comes from forming the right partnerships.

It’s not a lesson imparted by the content of a Press release, but rather from the trust implicit between an organisation and the PR firm or media professional who has crafted the document. Creating the right communication takes trust in your partners, trust in your message and trust in yourself.

Partnerships are the key to unlocking the full force and strength that the insurance sector has to offer – and communication is really the only means of imparting that to those ready to hear that message. Internal and external communications alike are ignored at the peril of any ambitious business and the future of insurance belongs to those able and willing to articulate their purpose – and to deliver the right actions to march with conviction alongside those words.