Tuesday, June 5, 2012

6 Ways To Win At Communications

They say a picture is worth a thousand words; but what do those words actually say? In the world of communications, the answer to this question is crucial to the success of a campaign.

The words you choose in your marketing campaigns can be the difference between success and failure.In his book "The Power of Communication," Helio Fred Garcia, president of the crisis management firm Logos Consulting Group, wrote about a way to improve your chances of choosing the right words: Strategic thinking.

What is strategic thinking? Garcia wrote that it's all about "ordered thinking." For example, a communicator should never start with the question “What do we want to say?” because it skips the essential questions that establish goals, identify audiences and attitudes, and lay out a course of action to influence those attitudes.

In order to get on the path towards strategic thinking, Garcia recommended asking the following questions:

  • What do we have? What is the challenge or opportunity we are hoping to address?
  • What do we want? What’s our goal? Communication is merely the continuation of business by other means. We shouldn’t communicate unless we know what we’re trying to accomplish.
  • What stakeholders matter to us? What do we know about them?
  • What do we need them to think, feel, know, or do in order to accomplish our goal?
  • What do they need to see us do, hear us say, or hear others say about us to think, feel, know, and do what we want them to accomplish?
  • How do we make that happen?
Once you answer these questions, you should be well on your way towards becoming a more effective communicator when it comes to your nonprofit's marketing activities.

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