by Annie Farber, Senior Account Executive
In today’s fast-paced, digital world, it has never been easier to quickly share information. This is a double edged sword for communicators; just as it allows us to quickly communicate news, it also means others can share sensitive information with a simple tap of a “forward” button.
For organizations planning a strategic announcement, consistency is key to control your narrative when messages are inevitably forwarded between audiences. But how can your message remain consistent while still tailoring your message to your unique audiences?
We balance authenticity and consistency daily at Issues Group, using these steps to guide us.
Step 1: develop your key messages
The first step in any effective announcement plan is determining what exactly you plan to communicate. Many announcements can be flawed from the outset due to lack of focus on a single set of messages. An outsider should be able to read your press release, web content, and staff email announcement and walk away with the same basic takeaways.
Keep things simple – think about the top five points you want everyone to remember after hearing or reading about your announcement and ensure they are consistent across all platforms. This is your starting point for all individualized announcement tactics.
Step 2: tailor tactics to your audiences
Once you’ve developed your basic messages, you must customize them for each audience. Each group of stakeholders you are communicating with have their own motivations. Spend some time focusing on each audience and considering their point of view. If you were in their shoes, what would you want to know and how would it best resonate with you?
This exercise is bolstered by creating a list of potential questions and concerns for each audience, keeping in mind that different audiences will require different methods of outreach. For example, employees often require a more personal touch, while other stakeholders might be better served with an email FAQ.
Step 3: review for authenticity and consistency
Ensuring all members of your leadership team are singing from the same songbook is key to launching a successful strategic announcement. Further, the messages your team will be communicating should also be meaningful to the audiences you are communicating to. This is rarely achieved in the first draft. Whether you’re leading your first strategic announcement or you’re a seasoned pro, a thorough review is essential to creating materials that resonate and garner a positive reaction.
When stakeholders feel they’ve been communicated with authentically and transparently, they are more likely to champion your good news and be supportive despite your negative news. Use these steps to guide your next strategic announcement to success.