Good communications support business goals 1
Our first question is always “what is the business goal?” Then comes “how can communications help?” From there we can plan. Headlines are not their own reward. We help to build awareness, approval, advocacy and action.
Short. Simple. Memorable 2
People don’t remember much in the best of times. Today they’re drowning in every kind of conventional and digital media clutter. Two or three clear, well-targeted messages will be best remembered. They’ll often be decisive.
Talk first to whoever’s affected most 3
If it’s good news, the beneficiaries will become your advocates. If it’s bad news, the victims’ voices will be sought out. Pick the most important audience. Reach them quickly and directly. Then widen the outreach.
Infinite channel choice, finite credibility 4
Mobile and web-based communications allow everyone to connect with everyone else. For the sender, a rich array of alternatives. For the recipient, questions: To whom should I pay attention? In whom can I trust? We select for credibility above all.
One size does not fit all 5
Even something we’ve done many times before needs new research, new analysis, lots of client conversation before a plan is launched. The opportunity often lies in what’s different in the details. Good plans have to be custom-tailored.
To inform: Use documents. To persuade: Get personal 6
Information is best conveyed by words, numbers, images on paper or the digital equivalent. Persuasion happens best one-on-one, face-to-face. When that’s not possible, direct contact with a credible source always trumps less personal alternatives.
Everything leaks 7
Digital media are easy to use, hard to restrict. Every sort of communication can spread to countless destinations unplanned by sender or recipient. Whether taking the initiative or controlling the fallout, we bring new tools and strategies into play to ensure a favorable outcome for our clients.
What about me? 8
People’s self- interest, professional and personal, is almost always top of mind. In positive situations, the promise of benefits sets the stage for other messages. In negative situations, reassurance about whatever seems threatened must always come first. When things aren’t clear, straight talk always plays best.
Mistakes now live forever 9
Cell phone cameras record everything. Data bases retain everything. Search engines find everything. Bad events will always happen. Memorably bad communications can be minimized. New approaches can address new media. Training and restraint remain critical.
If it’s going public, get there first 10
Whatever is said first about any topic creates the frame through which people receive what’s said later. Breaking the frame is hard. If something is going public, good news or bad, the first-mover advantage is overwhelming.
Silence is sometimes golden 11
News coverage peters out without fresh fuel. Social media eruptions quickly fade. The public gaze moves on. When high profile is needed, go for it. When low profile is preferable, minimal communication works best.