Glimpses on humanization of communication

Glimpses on humanization of communication

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Organizations are expected to communicate like humans. It means they need to communicate with their stakeholders more warmly, as they are colleagues, friends or family. This is referred to as the humanization of communication.
The concept of humanization, in general, has emerged to shed light on the most prominent human glitches, preserve human dignity, prove that the human individual has value, and devote respect to that value. It evolved until the emergence of the so-called “humanization of life,” which led to the “humanization of communication,” which appeared with the rise of digitalization.
Recently, the idea of humanizing communication has gained considerable attention from media and communication scholars, most notably Professor Robert G. Picard, a world-leading specialist on communication and media economics and government media policies. Picard’s research has focused on humanizing communication in modern marketing, where marketers, communication professionals, content specialists and social media intersect through the entire stakeholders’ lifecycle.
With chatbots and artificial intelligence becoming essential components of communication, the human touch will create deep emotional bonds with stakeholders and beneficiaries of any organization. The ultimate goal of these intersections is to create a dependable and long-term specific and well-defined target audience.
However, in recent digital campaigns, the person-to-person touch is getting lost. Campaign audiences prefer to build relationships, bond with organizations and feel that they are dealing with a relatable human whom they can connect with, even if the communication takes place digitally.
Unfortunately, the focus in digital communication has shifted from impacting the target audience to the technology or so-called “fake engagements.” Organizations put tremendous effort into designing and implementing communication campaigns. However, they miss investing in knowing if their audience feels, understands and gets impacted by the message of the campaigns.
This kind of investment needs a bit of courage. And patience. They need to first invest in understanding the audience. What is touchier for them? What makes them care about the campaign? And then design the campaign based on the insights derived from the potential audience, not what the leaders want.
In addition, they should have a predesigned method for assessing the success of each campaign. Assessing each campaign does not mean calculating how many likes or comments it receives on social media. It means having proper ways to ask different groups of people about the campaign to know if they see, feel, and understand it. Social media listening can be a way to calculate engagement via the available social listening platforms.
Out of wishful thinking, many proponents of and commentators on social media have portrayed the internet and its services as an empowering force and a space free from the constraints that shuffled the traditional media. Unfortunately, many of these observers lack critical thinking and analysis, worship technology, and fall into the trap of “technicism.”
Clearly, social media is a technical artifact worthy of deep consideration from a critical perspective for their effects on individuals and society. One of the tips to humanize your content marketing strategy is to be patient. If you are going to adopt a humanized content marketing strategy, do not lose heart or patience, abandoning the ideals of content marketing.
Instead, you should aim to keep creating new content that enhances the lives of your audience, ensuring they return for more. Also, a great way to humanize your content marketing approach is to adopt an investigative mindset that searches for the truth to enhance and empower it within our communication as institutions or organizations, as we seek to understand our audience first so that our communication is effective.

As communication practitioners, we should be courageous to challenge the process and integrate logic with emotions to create touchable and impactful humanized communication strategies and content.

Dr. Thamer Ahmad Baazeem

Thinking like a journalist is a great way to humanize your content marketing approach. That means keeping at least one eye on the most significant issues impacting your industry and sharing insights from market leaders and successful partners.
One of the tips for humanizing your content marketing strategy is to write for your audience, not Google. It is a challenging piece of advice to follow for some. Attempting to appeal to Google’s algorithms is often considered a fundamental component of communication marketing. So, it represents a trap, as success is based on effective communication with the target audience, not on soulless algorithms.
One of the helpful hints is to tell a compelling story. To connect with your audience on a human level, you need to appeal to their emotions. To achieve this, lean into the power of storytelling and narrative. This approach means retaining a single, compelling line throughout the content marketing strategy.
Entertaining while educating is one of the effective tips to humanize your content marketing strategy. Sharing information and data with your audience is essential. However, do not overlook the importance of entertainment too. By creating a unique voice and tone for your content marketing, your audience will continually return for more.
The last tip is to create content that challenges the status quo or communicates out of the box. This approach aims to show the audience you are human by thinking of touchy or fun, unique content. The internet is packed with content that offers advice, and these insights are often beneficial.
Finally, what should we, as social observers and communication professionals, do to promote humanization? Is it by re-endowment of media with more natural human characteristics and attributes? No technologies are neutral or without social effects because they were created for specific purposes. Although technological changes are typically portrayed as progress, with attendant connotations of desirable development and improvement, they do not always produce beneficial social results. It is especially true of contemporary communication technologies, which have often been created for specific types of exploitation of social and commercial opportunities. In short, social media has given voice to those wanting changes in societies and organizations. They have become a font of shared information and a component of the sum of the human experience.
Therefore, as communication practitioners, we should be courageous to challenge the process and integrate logic with emotions to create touchable and impactful humanized communication strategies and content. Don Schultz, an integrated marketing communication guru, was once asked how to become customer-focused in communication. He answered, “create Tinker toys, not Legos. Please google the differences.

Dr. Thamer Ahmad Baazeem is a board member of the Marketing Association Saudi Arabia. 

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point of view