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The Communication Award: Sir Richard Branson

2015. május 12. - Kevin Jackson

In 1968, Richard Branson dropped out of school to start a magazine called “Student” to give students voice against the Vietnam War. Today, Sir Richard Branson heads the Virgin Group that includes more than 400 companies ranging from commercial spaceflights to healthcare. He is widely known as one of the most successful entrepreneurs and innovators in the world today. One of the principle reasons why Sir Richard Branson has been so successful is his incredible ability to communicate with people regardless of their backgrounds.

One of the best examples of Branson’s communication skills can be seen after the crash of the Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two test flight last December. This crash tragically killed one pilot and seriously injured another. In vintage Branson style, he addressed the problem directly and immediately by flying to the U.S. and speaking to the media right at the crash site. His heartfelt words let everyone know his genuine empathy for the pilots and their families and that his organization did not take this accident lightly. He also effectively used social media to communicate to the entire world that how sorry he was personally for this unfortunate accident.

Over his incredible career that transcends just his business ventures, Sir Richard Branson has shared the following tips on successful communication:

  1. Tell Stories: People respond to stories and not data or press releases.
  2. Be Creative: Experiment with new ways of telling stories and new tools for delivering them.
  3. Choose the right channel: Always match the right content with the right channel.
  4. Be truthful: Don’t pretend to be something you are not.
  5. Work together: Find the right people and organizations to collaborate with.
  6. Have fun: Work should be fun and making work fun leads to success.
  7. Do it yourself: Don’t let anyone speak for you, do it yourself.

Throughout history, great leaders are all great communicators. They have the ability to speak effectively when delivering good news or bad and always know how to personalize their communication for any audience. Sir Richard Branson is clearly one of the best communicators of his generation, who has built an empire by inspiring others. The Communication Award goes to Sir Richard Branson, a man who defines the word charming.    

For more information on Leadership, please refer to the following articles:

Sir Richard Branson – a great communicator, Cartwright Communications, 2015

7 Tips from Richard Branson for effective communications, David Henderson,

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crash: Full Coverage and Investigation,, Tariq Malik, December 19th, 2014

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