Corporate communication aimed at stakeholders almost always faces potential resistance. Content of the information may fail to hit home with intended recipients. Contexts in play when the message is delivered can overwhelm its impact. And the tone or style of the communication can turn off compatible reception. To achieve maximum effectiveness among recipients (followers, stakeholders) communication originating in the company needs to consider questions to pass through three strategic implementation screens.
Screen 1: CONTENT: Ask and answer “What?”
This is where the company has maximum control over transmission. What is our news or information? What is the best (or required) timeframe for making it known?
Screen 2: CONTEXT: Ask, “Where, When, Why now, What now, What next, Who?”
This is where external, ambient factors limit the organizational communication control of the reception. Where will this be seen, read, and heard? In the communication channels and their respective and combined followers, what are the conditions surrounding the release of the information? Is this information expected, required? How will this release relate to or be influenced by existing information, opinion or conditioning?
Screen 3: TONE: Ask, “How?”
This is where corporate communications can bring emotional quotients into the connection process. With a good understanding of prevailing CONTEXTS, what can we do with the decided CONTENT of our information to reach our followers or stakeholders in the best achievable manner—language, reassurance, optimism, reality, openness? Does our TONE of writing, stating and delivering information—or in our conversations with stakeholders—connect emotionally and intelligently to engender better understanding and support?
The enterprise communicator needs to provide strategic leadership on what scores, what fits, what hits home with each stakeholder group. Leadership communication skills such as these can form the basis for influential results.