When I started in radio broadcasting, one of the first skills I had to develop was the art of having a conversation with someone you weren’t even sure was actually there. It’s a challenge which confronts writers as well.

As a young broadcaster I was instructed to imagine myself sitting across a kitchen table from someone having a coffee and chatting with them. Using terms such as “all you people” or the “royal we” as they called it, were mistakes not to be made.

Of course what separates the good radio personalities from the bad is the ability to know their audience and relate to them as individuals consistently. You know, the rare birds who sound as if they are talking only with you.

There were all sorts of techniques applied to accomplish this back before the internet. I knew one guy who claimed he did his research by riding around on random public busses and eavesdropping. Another person I know taped a stuffed Odie doll to the microphone and spoke to it.

To better relate, I forced myself to watch a lot of TV shows I could have done without and read an awful lot of Cosmo – you really can learn a lot reading Cosmo guys.

Knowing your email marketing subscribers and conversing with them as individuals is something which will set you apart from competitors. People don’t gather in groups around the computer or smartphone to read your emails – you are attempting to connect and engage an individual. So feel free to take a load off, sit down at that kitchen table and engage in a conversation.