How To Get Your Message Through

Most people ignore your message the first time they hear it.

Then, when they hear it the second time, they ignore it again.

By the time the message hits their ears the third time, guess what…They ignore it yet another time.

What do you think it takes to get a message through to the average person?


That’s what this episode of Four Minute Fixation is all about.

We are fixating on getting your message through using repetition with being incredibly annoying.

Speaking of repetition …


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Here is the transcript to this episode:

How To Get Your Message Through

Hi, I’m Dave Lorenzo, and today I’m fixated on repetition, let me explain what I mean by that.

There are three ways to communicate your message effectively. There are three elements of good communication. There’s primacy, which means the first thing that you hear. There’s immediacy, which is the last thing that you hear. And there is repetition, saying something over and over again.

If you want to get your message across to folks, you need to use all three of these. You need to be the first thing they hear, the last thing they hear, and you need to repeat your message over and over again. I worked with someone who is phenomenal at the third part, repetition. And that’s what I want to fixate on with you today.

When you communicate your message, don’t assume people understand it or it gets absorbed or people are even able to act on it, the first time you say something. You need to repeat yourself, sometimes as many as 20 or 30 times, before people will recognize the message, it sinks through to the subconscious and they take action.

Here’s the story. When I was first beginning my career, I started as a manager in a hotel. And I was a restaurant manager and a catering service manager. And I worked for the gentleman who was the food and beverage director of this hotel. His name was Tom Robertson and he had a phrase he used over and over again and he was famous for it. I’ll show you how he used it.

When I was a catering service manager for example, I would set up a buffet and we would have everything out. And a lot of times it would be either outside or inside in direct sunlight. And he would walk over to do an inspection of the buffet, and he would say, “Dave, how many people are coming to this event?” And I’d say, “Well, Tom, you know, 230.” He would look at me and he would say, “Unless you want to be responsible for the death of 230 people, you’d better put those mayonnaise products on ice.” This phrase was his catchphrase, “Put those mayonnaise products on ice.” And that phrase was a symbol for use the proper food sanitation procedures at all times.

When I was a restaurant manager, he would walk through the kitchen and he would call me over and he would say, “Dave, look back there and what do you see?” And I would look at him and I would say, “You know what Tom, I don’t want to be responsible for anybody’s death so I better get those mayonnaise products on ice.” This was a surrogate for food service sanitation.

During the time that I worked with him, which was probably the better part of six and a half years, I must have heard that phrase hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times. It sunk in to the point where it’s now 23 years later, 23 years since I’ve worked with this man, and I still remember that phrase as if it were yesterday. And you better believe that that I still follow those practices. My point to you is this, don’t think just by saying something one time your client or your employees will get the message. You need to repeat a tagline or a phrase over and over again that hammers your point home.

Thanks for watching. I’ve got to now because I’ve got some mayonnaise products in the kitchen. I got to go put them on ice.

Here are some additional resources to help you get your message through to your target audience:

How To Create a Great Marketing Message

This audio program is a step-by-step guide to creating a terrific marketing message that resonates with your audience. If you are wondering where to start, this is the place.

Communication Strategy

This podcast will help you plan your communication in a way that helps you get your message through to the target audience. This is a graduate-level course on integrated marketing communications.