Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Big Announcement? Don’t Communicate Off the Cuff

By: Kristen Paquet, Sr. Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

You have a big announcement to make. Maybe it’s launching a new product, offering a new service/program or expanding business operations. Before you start sharing all the details, it makes sense to have a plan in place that will not only ensure you are reaching your audiences, but getting the most out of the big news as well.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind when developing a communications plan: 

  • Know who your audience is. As you develop your communication strategy, consider all of the audiences you need to reach. Media, stakeholders, community and employees are just some to consider. Once you have determined who you need to reach, you can develop a plan on how to reach them. Tactics might include social media, a news conference, internal newsletter, etc. 
  • Know what you want to say and how you want to say it. What are the main ideas you need to get across to your audience? Develop talking points that address those areas clearly. Include those talking points when developing a speaking presentation, informational brochure, making updates to a website or participating in a media interview. 
  • Say the same thing. No matter if it is just you or a group of people that will be speaking publicly, consistency is key. You need to be confident that what you are telling a reporter is the same information you are sharing during a speaking presentation to the community. This is why developing your message is so important; it helps drive home a consistent message from audience to audience. 
  • Don’t let fear of negative comments drive your plan. Not everyone is going to agree with what you have to say. And although you should be prepared to deal with negative comments along the way, they should not drive your communications plan. Keep your goals and audience in mind and let that steer the way. Prepare for negative comments by thinking of some of the tough questions you could be asked and have responses ready.

A communications plan is the best tool you have to reach audiences with your message. What other tactics have you used when developing a plan? Please share!

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