Push and Pull Communications

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Push and Pull are two ways to look at communicating via the internet. In many ways you can extend this to think about any communications medium.

A form of broadcasting, where your place information directly to your audience
Places where information can be retrieved from at your audience's leisure

Obviously the strength of Push forms is that your audience will find it harder to miss your communication. Pull depends on how motivated your audience are.

Classification of communications technologies into Push and Pull categories
Push Pull
  • Snail Mail (direct mailings etc.)
  • Faxes
  • Email
  • Email Mailing lists (like Flyingkiwi's ywam-base-announce mailing list)
  • International YWAMer
  • Adverts in in-house publications and external (e.g. Google Ads)
  • Radio and TV adverts
  • Telephone calls and Skype!
  • Video conferencing/Genesis
  • Instant Messaging (Google Chat, MSN, IRC, Jabber etc.)
  • SMS (text messages)
On bases and generally in YWAM
  • Announcements
  • Compulsory Meetings
  • Posters
  • Notice boards
  • Conferences/Summits/Consultations
  • Flyers and prospectuses

Strengths and Weaknesses

Websites are valued highly as a good means of communication. However a website is essentially "Pull communication" in nature. Clear thought needs to be given to how to provide a compelling reason for the target audience people to come to your site (often referred to as "Driving traffic to your site"). Websites are not the Holy Grail of communication and it is very hard to cause people to come to your site. However it is a powerful and flexible tool.

Some of techniques for driving people to your site are:

  • Helpful, relevant and interesting content both visual and verbal (80% of young people are typically in the non-book generation and are visually orientated primarily. The other 20% are literary orientated and would read a bare website with no pictures if it was interesting)
  • Sticky content (lots of interesting and recently updated material to keep people interested and coming back for more
  • Three clicks deep - if you want people to get to important information make sure it is no deeper than 3 clicks deep! They wont find it and will give up trying if the information is buried more than 3 clicks away.
  • High ranking on search engines - the vast majority of people will only look at the first ten results returned by a search engine. Getting a good ranking is an art
  • Good linking from other sites - this happens as your site becomes well know and often increases the rank in search engines

Conferences, Summits and Workshops are great places for communication but have a fatal flaw in that if you are not there you miss out. In this authors mind they are perhaps inefficient tools for Push Communication of important information due to this hit or miss nature. Compulsory meetings are much better. If there is an agenda circulated before and minutes afterwards, this can improve things greatly for those who are unable to attend It also helps those who do no pay attention during the meeting!

The Wikipedia has a very interesting article on Digital Marketing that expands on the above and provides a good glossary of digital marketing terms as well as further pro's and con's.


  1. RSS Feeds can help hugely here - but only if people are technically competent to use them (it is estimated that about 5% of Internet Users know and use RSS feeds (see two feeds on the Main Page.)