The Power of the Human Voice in a Social Media World

Categories:Social Media

My Nana is coming up 99 in a few weeks time, however she is not too well at the moment. At the weekend I had a few tears at the thought that I may lose her. I live almost 2 hrs away so it is not that easy to pop over each night. I was getting reflections on how she was from other people, from within my family or at the home.

Then on Sunday, Nana phoned me. Wow, I got to speak to her, I heard her chuckle, I heard her tell me that she felt weak but she was OK.

Why tell you this story? Well, I believe in a world that is dominated by the ease of communication, that loves social media, we forget the power of the human voice. I remember in the UK when Princess Diana died, for all the news reports the people just wanted to hear directly from the Queen…not receive a blog post, not get a facebook message, but hear her voice.

Was my Nana any different after I spoke with her – no her health was the same. But suddenly I felt different. I felt connected, I felt reassured -there is a real message for business here.

Your brand has messages, your brand can communicate through the written word and will the majority of the time. However, how much do you think about the power of the human voice – how much do you plan how to use the human voice in your brand story?

Anna has spent over 20 years as a Board Director at several global brands. She now runs her own company The Engaging Brand which supports business leaders who want to transition to the new social business model. She is also a speaker, writer and radio show presenter on social business, indeed her podcast The Engaging Brand has been nominated 6 years running as Best Business Podcast at the Podcast Awards. She brings an unusual mix of experience to business - she has a 1st Class Law Degree, MBA in marketing and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. This unusual mix means not just explaining the why of being social but how to turn social into a measurable business tactic to grow your bottom line. Her blog is recognised as one of the leading UK marketing blogs.


    November 19, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Oh how true. So often we see people sitting together, typing data into their phones and not actually communicating or talking to each other at all. The voice carries so much, cadence, timbre, emotion,passion, inflection – things that are impossible to convey by text, email or any amount of emoticons come across beautifully in the spoken word.

    We should use our voices to convey what we really mean to say to the paople who really matter – as we’ll surely miss the sound of their voices when they’re gone.

    Lets just carry on talking…

    Eileen (now thinking she should have called instead!)

    November 19, 2008 at 9:26 pm


    If one were to look at the Brand Experience in terms of internal and external.

    Some of the best coaches in sports manage to get their teams to perform way above their level and making them believe in a shared vision.

    Think Employees, they have to go deliver the brand experience to customers. What does a company do in making them feel connected to the core philosophy of the company or brand. It starts here…

    Think Customers, do they get great experiences from motivated employees or others ? So the tone that one hears in emails , call centers and other communication and services is a reflection of the above….

    But in this season of slow down and layoffs, how do the CEO’s and other leadership members get to be like the best sports coaches and make their companies do better .

    One might say that coaches have a smaller number of people to work with but a leader in a company must reach out with a human , inspirational voice across many levels and regions.

    Can it be done in the age of collaborative practices but in reality a communication vacuum

    November 21, 2008 at 4:05 am

    What a great story your Nana told through her life and your writing and communication talents, Anna! Thanks for the inspiration. Ellen

    November 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Anna -

    Yes! The power of a voice is such a simple concept that I feel so many people (and companies) are starting to forget. This is especially true in cases of distress, as you noted with the Princess Di example and of course your worry for your grandmother – can you just imagine if the 911 operator was replaced by answering machine service? Even if they created an entirely computerized emergency operator that was somehow more efficient in bringing help to callers, I don’t think it could be sufficient replacement for the comfort of that human voice at the other end of the line. It’s important and more than worthwhile to make good use of the social media tools available to us now to communicate with our friends, family, and customers – but it should never completely replace the physical human voice!

  5. November 21, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Thanks for all the comments – here is a question when today did you email when a phone call or a walk down the corridor would have made someone’s day? The reason I ask is that we are so funny as human beings, we know how important these things are, yet we carry on doing it…why is that!!!
    ….I hasten to add if I had Dr Who’s time machine I would have delivered this in person rather than typed it!!!

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