COMMUNICATIONS OVERVIEW OBJECTIVES To develop a basic understanding of key concepts related to communications To learn the importance of an effective communications strategy and its main components
COMMUNICATIONS OVERVIEW TOPICS Understanding effective communication and related challenges Communications strategy Set a goal Identify and analyze target audience Develop and convey a message Identify messengers and delivery tools
KEY TERMS Communication Message Other terms? Photo: Shiho Fukada for the New York Times
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Communication is two-way: Talking Listening SenderReceiver Feedback Message
REAL LIFE COMMUNICATIONS Noise SenderReceiver Feedback Message
Noise POLITICAL COMMUNICATIONS Message Feedback Volunteers Media Receiver Sender Noise
EXERCISE: Telephone Stand up and form a circle One person originates a message Whisper message to person on your right Last person in circle repeats it out loud
COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY What is your main message? Why should people listen? Whose support do you need? What messages will persuade them? How and when will you reach them? Who are your best messengers?
What Is Your Goal? What are you trying to achieve? How will you know if you’ve reached your goal?
Who is Your Target Audience? Whose support do you need to achieve your goal?
THE MESSAGE PYRAMID 1% Directly involved 11% Engaged generally in Politics 15% Informed Public 73% Mass Audience
THE MESSAGE PYRAMID Corrected 73% Mass Audience 15% Informed Public 11% Engaged generally in Politics 1% Directly involved
TARGET AUDIENCE TARGET AUDIENCE Choosing the right target audience means aiming for the middle 11 Audience Spectrum Neutral/mildly supportive Disinterested or Mildly interested Firmly OpposedTrue BelieverSupporter Target Audience Preaching to the choir or engaging your enemies is often unproductive. “persuadables”
AUDIENCE ANALYSIS Know what they like, dislike, and think is important Identify language relevant to your audience
EXAMPLE Successful communication: Why does it matter for parents and kids? Ineffective communication: Specifics of the courses How parliament would decide Bill on study of civics or religion in public schools
MESSAGE Single idea/theme Your values What you repeat over and over What you want people to remember How you connect with and persuade people Why am I asking for your support?
CHARACTERISTICS OF AN EFFECTIVE MESSAGE Clear and concise Compelling Contrasting Connected Consistently delivered
YOUR MESSAGE Remember the Rule: 27 words 9 seconds 3 points “I think it’s time for a change: time to support our schools, time to address government corruption, time to bring jobs back to our town.”
MESSAGE CONTENT Choose words that mean something Message must have emotional appeal Photo:
MESSAGE CONTENT Don’t teach/lecture Convey confidence Tell a story
STAYING ON MESSAGE Repeat, repeat, repeat Think before you speak Reject attacks and loaded questions It’s okay to: Pause and collect your thoughts Say “I don’t know, but…” Check your notes Not answer the question It’s okay to: Pause and collect your thoughts Say “I don’t know, but…” Check your notes Not answer the question
WORDS, VOICE, BODY LANGUAGE
BODY LANGUAGE Eye contact Posture/stance Hand gestures Smile! Photo: NDI
EXERCISE Create a message that is: Clear and concise Compelling Contrasting Connected Photo: Amy Hamelin for NDI
WRITING A SPEECH Write like you speak Outline form Avoid technical terms Structure: Tell them what you will tell them Then, tell them Summarize what you told them
MESSENGERS The right person to deliver the message is as important as the right words.
MESSENGERS Use real, relatable people Use credible people Trustworthiness and sincerity are key
DELIVERY TOOLS Newspaper columns Weekly radio programs Person to person events Television ad Press release Door-to-door canvassing Newsletter or other mailings Campaign posters Public forums s
DELIVERY TOOLS Which delivery tool? “Medium is the message” Find your audience where they already ‘live’ Workplaces Communities Online
PRINT AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA Newspapers Magazines Television Radio Photo: A. Elwallani for NDI Photo: Sanja Gjenero for rgbstock.com
BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA Increase visibility Promote accountability Mobilize/engage citizens Foster policy debate Network Increase awareness Conduct advocacy
Facebook Twitter YouTube Personal/organization website COMMON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
GAINING MEDIA ATTENTION Supply photos, sound clips, video Appeal to their audiences Tell a “newsworthy” story Link to current news
MEDIA BIAS Gender discrimination and sexism in coverage Unequal air time
CONCLUSION Goal setting Audience identification and analysis Message content Public speaking tips Messengers Delivery tools Print and electronic media Social media Media bias