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We Can't Hear You

I recently had a thyroidectomy performed. In 2019, my doctor found a nodule in my right thyroid, and immediately she sprang into action. My physician ordered a few tests to determine if the nodule was due to cancer. Within a week, I learned that it was not.

However, the team was still concerned. Doctors described the size of the nodule as two large eggs. They put a care plan in place, including an annual scan of my throat to determine any changes to the nodule. Last October, my imaging reports showed that the nodule had grown slightly, and I began to have trouble swallowing food. I made the tough decision and went forward with scheduling surgery.

After waking up from anesthesia, I learned that the surgeon had served my right vocal cord nerve, which meant that I would struggle to use my voice, including talking. The surgery is only one month behind me, and one of the biggest realizations I have had to deal with is how much I took my voice for granted.

Four days after surgery, several family members visited me, wanting to show me their love and support. I never felt more cherished. However, in a group of many, no one could hear a word I was saying. I strained to form every word spoken, and each one came out with no volume. When anyone realized I was talking, they would draw their ears near my mouth and focused all their might on hearing me. The visit became so frustrating that I opted to go back to bed and get some rest instead of enjoying the presence of my loved ones.

I had something to say. For hours I worked tirelessly to be heard, and every attempt failed. What amplified the frustration was my visitors were trying to listen. They were attentive. Their very reason for being in my home was to come and be with me. But even with all eyes on me, my message was lost.

This situation looks much like our organizations that speak with little assurance and confidence in their brand voice. You have an audience who is ready to hear every word you have to say. They glue their ears to your social channels, email messages, video feeds, website pages, webinar sessions, visual aesthetics, and the countless other forums used to connect with them. Yet, your audience is clueless to what you are stating.

When organizations take their brand voice for granted and do little to nothing to develop it, they become that entity speaking with no one hearing the message sent. I am fighting daily to retrieve the voice I once had because I refuse to live the rest of my life going unheard. I have audiences in the various facets of my life, and they will hear.

What about you? Is your organization ready to fight for its voice?

Your customers, your members, your partners, your donors—all of your constituents are positioned with open ears. Build your brand voice, identify how you need to be heard. We're listening!


Nona A. Phinn

President + Chief Messaging Officer

THuS Marketing + Branding Services


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