One form of communication just won’t do

sign post with question mark“Sign me up!” were the words I exclaimed back in February when I found out the gym I was checking out allowed free guest passes, anytime, any day of the week. What a huge plus!

A few weeks ago, I walked into my gym with a guest. I hadn’t been in about a week and I was ready and raring to go. I told the girl at the desk I’d like to sign my guest in.

“Oh, you can no longer have guests for free during the week. Only weekends. It’ll be a $10 charge today.”

<Squealing brakes>

“What?”

She explained to me that policies had changed. I could downgrade my membership if I wanted (never even explaining what else I would lose by downgrading. . .).

I told the girl behind the desk that I had never seen any form of communication on this change in policy and asked how the gym told its members about it.

“It was posted. It’s been effective since August.”

“Where? I’ve been here regularly, and I never saw a thing.” (Seriously, I’m so not that person who puts up a stink like this, but I was getting peeved.)

I asked to see some sort of communication and she frantically went looking for an official letter from the gym which she ultimately couldn’t produce (hmm?).

Here’s the (much briefer and nicer) “rant” that I laid into my poor, unfortunate guest whom I paid the $10 for because I’m too stubborn for my own good.

You CANNOT base your communication to customers, clients, stakeholders, audiences, etc. via ONE MEDIUM. So, gym of mine, you posted a paper in the bathroom? Great. Did you even think to hand out a notice to members as they entered and scanned their membership cards? Did you think to have staff members share the news around the gym as they asked members how their workouts were going? Did you have an e-mail campaign (because you send plenty of e-mails!)? A mailed letter? Something?

Sure, this example doesn’t come off as directly related to PR. But in fact, I think it can serve as a good lesson for all of us in the field of communications. We must use a variety of platforms and mediums to spread the word about our company and/or clients.

Never put all your weights eggs in one basket.

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