Do you believe that connecting to the audience breaks the minute we forget who we are communicating with? That is one of the fundamental lessons I am learning in my last year in Communications, Culture and Journalism Program, at the Okanagan College.
Knowing our audience is vital in all channels of communication. How we make that connection with each other is a learned art. I interviewed Alex Schadenberg, the Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, for my communications assignment.
During the whole interview I was hanging on Schadenberg’s every word. The interview was supposed to be only for an hour, but the time flew by, the next thing I knew it was two hours later. He spoke to me with authenticity that comes from a deep passion and drive for the love of human dignity. That is how this interview impacted me in ways that I will never forget. Just so you know I will be posting the entire interview under ‘Community Profiles’ here on my blog: https://okanaganvalleyview.com/, once my final exams this semester are over.
I asked Schadenberg: What do you remember the most about what you learned in school about communication that stuck with you?
“One thing that sticks in my mind is in Philosophy. I studied Thomas Aquinas and I think he was right in one of his principals, he said you have to speak to people where they are coming from. His idea was, if something is true then truth is knowable, so therefore you speak to the person from where they are at. I try to keep it on the average person as I can if you read my material. Why do I do that? Because I think, if its true, they understand– then its knowable,” said Schadenberg.
I thought about what he said for awhile, but I could not quite get my head around what he meant. Guess what I did? I went deeper and looked up Thomas Aquinas to help me understand this essential communication expertise.
“Furthermore, the king’s laws must result from the “deliberation of reason” and have the consent of both the nobility and the common people. These were radical ideas for a time when kings claimed no one but God could hold them accountable.” (Walker)
Schadenberg helped me see audience in a wider lens which I am going to carry with me in any position that I apply for and work in. My goals for working in the field of Communications and Journalism is to focus on how community can impact change that benefits all people rather than just a select few.
When you want to make a difference and communicate to people where they are you can reach them where you are. Once you connect to your audience you have built a relationship that will grow and it will impact donations in a non-profit organization to enhancing corporate meetings by reaching all levels of management and employees, as well as all affiliations. Building relationships on all levels of industry can create a stronger foundation to cope with the ever-changing media that will benefit everyone.
We are here to communicate, build relationships and make a difference in peoples lives. I will leave you with this lasting message of what I will take with me in my new career in Communications. How we connect with others is based on what we say to each other about what we know. The forever question we need to ask ourselves is: Do we really know who we are speaking too and have I reached you?
Walker, Leslie. “Truth.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 4 Dec. 2020 http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15073a.htm.
Tim, “Thomas Aquinas Quotes, May 2, 2012,” in Philosophy & Philosophers, May 2, 2012, ‘image’, http://www.the-philosophy.com/thomas-aquinas-quotes.
Nielsen, Bo. “Centre for International Media Assistance. Bo47, https://www.bonielsen.me/
Schadenberg, Alex. Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, 2020. Envoy Media. https://www.epcc.ca/