The Six Essential Questions of Communication

You are already familiar with the six essential questions of communication. They are:


  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • How?

Every journalist uses these questions when crafting a news story. These six questions will also keep you from ever having writer’s block. Rudyard Kipling is known to have said of the following about these six words:

I keep six honest serving men (they taught me all I knew); their names are What and Why and When And How And Where and Who.”

Even more importantly, these six questions must be answered to effectively market and promote your book. Without the aid of these six questions, you may well miss your target when you shoot your marketing arrows.

If you have not already done so, allow these questions to guide your marketing message.

WHO:  Who should read this book? Who would most benefit from the information in this book? Who are the influencers for these people?

WHERE:  Where do the people who would most benefit from my book hang out? Where do they get their information?

WHAT:  What am I trying to accomplish with this book? What will someone gain from reading this book? What problem is this book addressing?

WHEN:  When is the information in this book most timely? When in a person’s life would he or she need the information in this book?

WHY:  Why am I writing this book? Why would anyone be interested in reading this book?

HOW:  How is this book different from others on the same subject? How will this book change someone’s life?

Remember, your book must make a promise. It should offer a solution to a problem that your audience struggles with. These six questions will help you distill a powerful marketing message for your book and keep you aiming in the right direction when promoting your book.

Related Posts:
Audience Development
Do You Know Your Audience?
What Are You Promising?

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