When I’m talking to people about their film, campaign, presentation or what ever it is they are trying to create a message for, I ask them to think about these three questions:
- What do you want to say?
- Who do you want to say it to?
- How do you want to say it?
They are key to any communications strategy, and they are easy to remember. There are two themes run through the 3 Keys “Why?” And “When?”
Whether you are sitting in front of a screen or blank sheet of paper working out your PowerPoint presentation or Blog post or with a group of people defining a campaign, use these questions to help plot your course.
What do you want to say?
Define, simplify, understand. You need to be clear in your own mind first, or if you are working with a team, you all need to understand exactly what it is that you are trying to say. If you don’t understand, how will anyone else? Can you write it on a post card? Can you write it on a placard? Can you Tweet it?
Who do you want to say it to?
What do you know about your audience? What is their level of understanding of the subject? If you want action are you speaking to the right person. An MEP is not the right person to contact about rubbish collection, a councillor is. If you are making a presentation, what can you find out about the people you are presenting to?
How do you want to say it?
Is a presentation the right way to communicate your idea? Would a film be better? Do you need to use graphs or pictures in your blog post?mare you using facts that need to be cited?
Meanwhile all the way through thing about the reasons you are doing this and about the timing. The “Why?” and the “When?”
And finally, if you are asking for something be clear on what it is you want. “What is the ‘ask’?”