The complexity of today’s business environment requires solid messaging strategies. If companies are not dealing with financial issues, they likely find themselves challenged by a changing regulatory and political environment, a scaled back workforce with a waning morale, fewer facilities and resources yet increasing competition for consumer attention and preference. In addition, customer expectations are higher and the demand for transparency is stronger.
Never has it been more important for companies to get their messages across. But how do you ensure your messages resonate with your stakeholders? It’s tempting to rely on traditional approaches to messaging that worked well in the past when the more linear model of sender-receiver communication ruled the day. But today communication often occurs without the involvement of the organization itself. Compounding the complexity is the exploding number of digital channels that have given rise to countless new communities and further enabled 24/7 conversations – and many times confusion – about companies.
Effective messaging is not as easy as it used to be, particularly when the chips are down and the stakes are high. Many times companies design messages to respond to a situation and simply stop, falling far short of communicating what organizations need and stakeholders want from conversations.
Establishing a process for developing a more strategic approach to messaging – especially in a time of crisis — can help organizations respond in a manner that will not only resonate with stakeholders but more importantly accomplish the organization’s larger goals.
There are several things you need to do when crafting your organization’s messages.
- Align messages with organizational goals;
- Clarify the situation at hand;
- Explain what is being done about that;
- Demonstrate organizational accountability such as processes, procedures, safe guards, best practices or commitments;
- Properly prioritize the potential for risk;
- Anticipate stakeholder reactions;
- Acknowledge different viewpoints;
- Remind stakeholders about who the organization is and why they should care.
We invite you to view a comprehensive checklist of considerations and messaging strategies in our latest white paper: “Crafting Compelling Messages in an Increasingly Complex World.”