We live in an age of communication overload. Just consider how many modes of communication exist on your phone. Aside from even the phone itself and the ability to make calls and send texts, we’re able to communicate with one another via Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Instagram messages, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and more and more are cropping up everyday. As a result, brands and companies today have to think more critically than ever about how they tell their message and where they tell it in order to reach their customer base and generate a connection. 

When my parents launched Huntington Learning Center in 1977, they took to the typical modes of communication at the time to get the word out: word of mouth, direct mail and newspaper ads. Over time as the media landscape evolved, so did their communication strategy – they began to weave radio and television ads into their messaging, too. Since I’ve taken on my role as VP of Business Development, we’ve also added more into the mix such as Instagram Stories and LinkedIn, and are even preparing to launch a podcast. Despite all this change over the years, what hasn’t changed is the mission that we share with the world throughout every mode of communication: to give every student the best education possible. Through this process, I’ve learned key lessons that can be applied to legacy and new brands. 

Telling a consistent story that resonates with consumers on every platform is the key to seeing tangible growth and building a positive relationship with your customers. So how do we do that? 

  • Think about your audience. Who is the typical consumer you’re trying to reach on Instagram, or via email marketing, etc.? Always have an individual, or persona, in mind when you craft your communications, and speak to that person. 
  • Boil down your message to your key points. What is the biggest takeaway that you want your customers to see when they interact with your message? You often have only a few seconds to make an impression, so make those seconds count. 
  • Think about a call to action. What do you want your consumer to do as a result of your message? Is it visit your website, download a podcast episode, share your message with others, etc.? Think about what you’d like them to do, and make it easy for them to do it.
  • Remember that how the message is delivered is often just as important as the message itself. For a visual medium like Instagram, for example, weaving in eye-catching imagery that corresponds to your message will lead people to engage with the content. 
  • Be authentic. As a legacy brand, traditional modes of communication have been a great resource for us to communicate with a variety of audiences. When we made the strategic decision to invest in new forms such as social media and a podcast we took our time to ensure our messaging and delivery would be effectively received on the new platforms. 

If you keep your audience in mind and stay true to your message throughout – no matter which platform you’re using to communicate – you’ll no doubt be able to build a successful communications strategy that can strengthen your brand’s reputation and foster relationships and connections with current customers and new customers alike.


  • Anne Huntington Sharma

    President, Huntington Learning Center

    Anne Huntington Sharma brings a unique perspective and depth of experience to Huntington Learning Center. As President, Anne leads the company's strategic growth, including franchise expansion, partnerships, digital transformation, and more. Anne works with each department to ensure the company’s mission of providing every student with the best education possible is carried out. Prior to this position, Anne served as Vice President of Business Development. Anne brings more than ten years of proven experience in sales and business development within the education and art industries. Before joining Huntington Learning Center in 2014, Anne launched and remains the Principal of AMH, a creative agency for contemporary art and culture. In this capacity, she has curated over 30 exhibits across the country with organizations to help build awareness and raise millions of dollars for various causes. Anne is also an active chair and member of numerous education and arts-based groups such as the Young Collectors Council at the Guggenheim Museum, the Future Leadership Council at the Whitney Museum, the Women’s Franchise Committee for the International Franchise Association, NYC’s Coalition for the Homeless, Teaching Matters, Learning Disabilities Association of the Americas, CHADD and COPAA. Anne received a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University.