Communications Beyond Words


By Laurie Jakobsen

At Jaybird, we generally focus on “word-based” communications for our clients: press releases, social media posts, bylines, interviews, presentations, and the like. I recently attended Network! Network! event and met Garett Engel of Benhar Office, Rachel Levin of Rachel Levin Style, and Glenn Diehl of Skyline Genesis. Each had a story that underscored how important various non-verbal communications – from your office furniture, to your team’s attire, to your trade show set up – can either complement or undermine a company’s image, all before a word is exchanged.

Office Furniture: What do your potential clients and employees see when they come to your office space? Two beanbag chairs and a cast-off table may be OK for a startup, but at some point, the setup of an office needs to convey the company’s image while also making the staff productive and even contribute to their health and well-being.

Clothing: Our appearance is a huge factor in how we are perceived, and clothes are a big part of that. When it comes to dressing in the workplace, there can be a clash between the personal and the professional, and addressing it can be a very difficult discussion as a supervisor – which is where Rachel comes in.

Trade Shows: A trade show represents your business in a very condensed way, so every element needs to be on point while grabbing potential customer’s attention at a busy event. Think you have to have a sexy product to have buzz? Think again. Glenn told a great story of a client with a straight-forward product – disinfecting wipes – that his team worked with to create a “CSI”-based trade show experience that engaged potential customers before they even came to the event.

So as you develop your company and its communications plans, remember that many of the things that influence opinions may fall outside of what are thought of as communications channels. What are you telling people when they walk in your door or meet you for the first time at your company’s booth at a trade show? If it’s not consistent with your written communications, it’s time for an overhaul.


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