Our Outlook

Filter Posts

Clear Filters
« Return to List

Posted on 05.04.2010

Reaching Your Audience, Even When It’s Hard

reaching your audience

I’ve always been an activist – saving animals, conserving natural resources and advocating for the disenfranchised. But recently, I have found myself using my professional communications skills to accomplish my activist goals. My neighborhood is on the threshold of a significant transformation, but to get there the residents need to work together. So I have decided to rally the troops to form a neighborhood association in my quickly changing, working-class neighborhood. As a whole, the neighborhood has been neglected for some time, but is sitting at the tipping point of a significant transformation. If we combine forces, my neighbors can work together so that tipping point teeters in our favor. For me, this is a new endeavor and I find myself designing a strategic communications campaign in a whole new environment. It turns out that motivating people around messages and a call to action for a cause bears a strong resemblance to the goals I accomplish for my clients every day. As I started organizing my thoughts I went back to the basics. 1. Who is my audience? a. What are the demographics of my audience? b. What are the psychographics of my audience? c. What motivates them? d. What language do they speak? 2. How can I communicate with them? a. Do they use the internet? b. Do they engage in social media? c. Do forms of daily communication do they rely on? (e.g. email, mail, cell phone, etc.) d. What messages that will strike a chord? e. Do they feel that their opinions matter and that their voices are being heard? I wanted to hear that the members of my neighborhood could all be reached via email or social media from the comfort of my chair. Unfortunately, the answers I got sent me in a different strategic direction. Many of my neighbors do not even have computers, much less spend time surfing the web or posting to Facebook. This community still relies on face-to-face contact, phone calls and mail to learn about what is happening in their neighborhood. This means my work will be a lot harder than I anticipated when I began. But it also means that I am learning to apply my strategic communications skills to accomplish new kinds of goals that have personal meaning for me and my neighbors. So I hit the pavement. For the past several weeks I have been on the phone and walking the neighborhood and talking to my neighbors. And so far, the results have been wonderful. People are learning about our little organization and we are on the brink of big things. And the bonus prize for all of this effort is that our neighborhood is becoming more of a community. We aren’t just neighbors…now we are friends.

Latest Blog Post

In the know: Five communication tips for keeping health system board members informed and engaged

Consider the following five strategies to help your C-suite elevate its board communication and engagement efforts...

Read More

News Update

December 2018 Newsletter

Tips for Keeping Board Members Informed and Engaged Want Coverage? Show Me The Data!...

Read More