Our Three Cs are clarity, consistency and conscientiousness. The idea was borrowed from the "5 Cs of Communication," which has been marked up considerably by various educators and yes, marketing professionals.
The reason I believe it is important to have our Three Cs is so that our team always has a way to decide if what they're sending to a client, a colleague or a customer is appropriate.
So why bother with the Three Cs at all? Well, most firms where I have worked have emphasized communication–among team members or across accounts–and failed in some aspect. The fact is that we all fail in communicating effectively damn near every day. So why not make our mantra about trying to improve our communication skills just as often?
When I first began the journey of CEO with matchstick | social, I sent out a survey to our employees to ask what they were frustrated with and what they felt we could improve upon. Every one of them, in some aspect or another, said that they (and we as leaders) could improve upon communication. I find this to be an extremely fair sentiment, so I decided that instead of scheduling more meetings about how we can communicate better, I would build it as our mission.
Are you communicating as clearly as you can? This question can be applied to managing expectations of a client, assigning individual team members with tasks or collaborating on strategy. Clarity is paramount so that everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goal.
Is your message consistent? This question can be applied to our clients' (and our) brand messages but also to our internal policies. It's a great reminder for us all to set the tone–and the rules–and stick to them.
Is this work conscientious? This question can be applied to all communications both professional and personal. I believe conscientiousness is something at which we as a society are constantly failing. Being meticulous, ethical and honest is of the utmost importance.
In my experience, I have found that if your message (internal or external, personal or professional) passes the Three Cs Test, it's likely to go over well. And if the message fails the Three Cs Test, it's likely to cause a lot of trouble.