Communications strategy begins with a simple question. Before you write–before you start talking–before you post, tweet, blog or pin, ask yourself:
“Who are my audiences?”
I do mean “audiences,” plural. At different times, you may want to get the attention of any of the following groups:
- Elected officials
- Board members
- People in a certain age group
- People who participate in a certain activity
- Residents of a certain neighborhood
You have different relationships with each of these groups, so it’s crucial to identify who you’re talking to at the time.
Different Voice for Different Audience
Would you talk with your mom the same way you talk with your boss? Unlikely–unless you want Mom to feel hurt, or your boss to feel confused.
Then why would you talk to Board members who have sweated for your organization for years the same way that you speak to people who might just give you their first donation if you give them a good reason why? You wouldn’t, I hope!
Figure out the specific audience or audiences you are trying to reach before you figure out what you are going to say.
When You’re Talking AND When You’re Writing
Speaking to a specific audience is just as important when you’re “speaking” in print, or in email, or on the internet.
It won’t work to say, “I’m just going to write to the general public.” There is no such thing! If you aim at everybody, there’s a good chance you’re going to reach nobody. Speak to one audience at a time. The others can listen in.