On to the second of my four Es - Expectations!
Understanding, setting and managing expectations are core components of effective communication.
We begin by considering the expectations of our audiences. What channels do we use to communicate information to our end user? Have we gauged the effectiveness of those? Is your audience aware that those are the tools that you will use and expect that you will be pushing information via those channels? If not, we can't count on our information reaching them, no matter how well-crafted the message may be.
I can lead you and your organization through a thorough process to reach answers to these questions and more. By engaging in the work and codifying your plan we will make sure you are setting, managing and meeting expectations.
But, if you need to answer some of those questions now, consider your resources. Take stock of the tools at your disposal. Be sure to include consideration of communicating in cases of emergency when some of your most reliable and frequently used channels may be compromised.
Once you have made internal decisions about how you will be communicating to your community, tell your community. This is a great chance to test those channels. Tell folks where to look or turn for information. And, most importantly, stick to your plan. In order to have the expectations you set for yourself met, you cannot deviate from those expectations. If and when you do make changes, you need to repeat the process and make sure you are keeping your audience in the loop.
On the flip side, you need to let your community know your expectations of them. If you are using your tools and strategies, communicate to your audience that those are the resources they should be using. As long as you are clear, this should be alleviate confusion and increase message saturation.
When you are articulating expectations, be as clear and accessible as possible. With well crafted communications plans, the pressure of meeting otherwise vague expectations will be greatly reduced. Interested in learning more about communications planning and strategy or any of the four Es? Get in touch.