Business communication in the digital workplace: SAVUS from the 7 SAD MICE

Technology has changed all business communication—forever. Content strategy is crucial. All business writing is content. All content is digital, social, visual and mobile. Your audience expects to interact, contribute and be heard online. And much business content is visible to a critical public and is inevitably perceived as communication from the organisation.

Meet the 7 SAD MICE of the digital workplace. They are facts of life.

  • S is for Social.
  • A is for Audio-visual.
  • D is for Digital.
  • M is for Mobile.
  • I is for International.
  • C is for corporate.
  • E is for Electronic.

Very few people have incorporated the SAD MICE into their understanding of business writing. Most people have noticed a few of the SAD MICE, but don't get the full picture. And many are stuck on the non-digital aspects of writing (and plain language is still the foundation of all good communication).

However, the SAD MICE are not optional add-ons, alarming new inventions, or esoteric geek duties. They concern everyone who uses a computer and sends emails, everyone who writes reports or even tweets on the intranet.

Quick, help! How can we help general staff to get the message? Taming the SAD MICE is not an intuitive skill: it must be taught. And this can seem overwhelming—so much to learn.

Five adjectives to SAVUS from the SAD MICE

Consider the SAVUS adjectives as general, overarching guidelines for communicating in the digital workplace.

They apply to every item of communication, from tweets to major government reports, from podcasts to teaching modules. They are always relevant regardless of channel, regardless of file type, regardless of hardware, regardless of audience.

Every piece of writing, every message of any kind, needs to be:
1. Searchable
2. Accessible
3. Valuable
4. Usable
5. Strategic.

That still leaves a great deal for staff to learn—starting with a radical change of attitude. But I hope it will help to simplify the overwhelming demands of digital communication.

The SAVUS adjectives may also help to future-proof your content strategy.

Some years in the future a client may ask you, ‘Please send a tripleblonk to clients by Ftrooy advising them of the deadline for subscriptions.’

You will blink twice, take a deep breath, and remember, 'Sooo... I must make this tripleblonk searchable, accessible, valuable, usable and strategic. Let me see...'

(I'll explain the SAVUS adjectives in detail in the new edition of Crash Course in Corporate Communications.)

Drawing of a sad mouse: free clipart from clker.com by OCAL. Thanks, perfect!


Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine

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