PM Quote of the Day — John Wanamaker

I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, but I can never find out which half.

I love to quote this saying whenever I’m about to start a propaganda campaign communications effort for an initiative.  There’s a sneaking feeling that a lot of people won’t even bother to open the broadcast e-mail, or won’t read my section of it, or won’t visit the portal page, or are blogging during my Webex session.

Not that I’ve ever done any of that…

This saying reminds me that about half of my audience is tuning out my message.   Ensuring full attention and comprehension will depend on the appropriateness of the channels, media, and frequency that I use.  That’s the whole point of stakeholder and audience analysis. 

A very simple example is given here — graphical views of work breakdown structures typically work well when summarizing for executives and WBS lists usually work best when elaborating the detail for project teams.  This result is to be expected, once we’ve analyzed the attention spans, communication styles, and information needs of the respective audiences. 

Sure, some folks simply won’t get it, at least not without a consistent and persistent effort.  But regardless, the onus is on me and my team to make the connection. 


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