July 14, 2009

Sharing Your Message

Sharing your message is all about how you communicate with your target audience (i.e. constituents, customers). In the past, communicating with the larger public was largely relegated to the news media. 

Today, there are a multitude of options available when communicating with a broader spectrum of people.

While there are new ways to tools, the guiding questions about sharing your message remain the same: What do you want to accomplish?  Who do you want to reach?  What do you want them to know about your organization?  What do you want to say?  How do you want them to feel about you and/or your group?  The answers should be found in your measureable objectives, target audiences and key messages.

Sharing your message is akin to having a conversation.  In your personal life, you typically want to celebrate good news with everyone.  If you have bad or sensitive news, would you want to share that face-to-face or one-on-one?  Despite what we see on reality television, the same approach is true in a business setting.

During my ten years as a news reporter and seventeen years in public relations, I cringe at the thought of a news conference.  As a reporter, I like the personalized pitches.  Everyone sharing the same talking heads, same quotes generally the same setting is akin to everyone sharing the same cup of coffee at a breakfast.  As a public relations professional, news conferences are maddening.  Granted they are easy on the client’s schedule, but that is about the only really good thing about news conferences.

Sharing your message is a personal conversation and connection with your target audience.

The news media is not your target audience, it is a conduit to reach your constituents and customers.

The new media (yes “new” and not “news”) provides effective ways to engage your target audience.  Websites, blogs, wiki’s, and social media are all different ways to connect, unfiltered, to your audience.   Direct mail, personal letters, magazines, newsletters are some good standbys to reinforce your brand beyond the computer screen.  These tools are an effective complement to reaching your objectives through traditional media and tactics.

Think of your communication tools as golf clubs.  They each provide a specific purpose to move Clubsyour message/brand forward.  You wouldn’t use a putter in the tee box or a driver on the putting green.  Knowing your audience and your objectives will help you to identify the right tools to share your message effectively.

Picture provided courtesy of www.golffersavenue.com

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: