(BACK TO BASICS)
By Rod C. Estrera
Issue No. 002 – 04 July 2013
The Four Key Questions In Communication Planning
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY TO ALL MY AMERICAN & US-BASED FAMILY & FRIENDS!
Welcome back! I do hope you all were able to catch on July 1 the first issue of my new Blog Series on Basic Public Relations and Corporate Communication lessons, tips and insights for Industry Professionals and interested Non-Practitioners. Feel free to visit and re-visit the first issue – which differentiated “Communication” from “Communications” – at:
Meanwhile, as previously promised and appropriate for the Fourth of July Celebration, beginning this second issue and up to the fifth, we will discuss “The Four Key Questions” that need to be asked and addressed in the preparation of every Communication Plan, be it for PR, Advertising, Marketing, Corporate Communication, Special Events or even for Crisis Communication. These questions, which should serve as the cornerstones of our Communication Research efforts even before an actual Communication Plan is developed, are as follows:
1. Who is my audience?
2. What do I want my audience to do?
3. What perceptions guide their actions?
4. How can I change their actions?
For this issue, let’s focus on the first question: “Who is my audience?” In fact, in today’s multi-faceted, multi-media and multi-stakeholder world, it would be more appropriate to rephrase this to “Who are my audiences?” To help understand and address this first key question, we would need to review and apply the following three aspects:
· First, we obviously need to know who they are. We must correctly identify the target or targets of our communication plan to tailor fit our strategies. Incorrect audience identification – or wrong assumptions on their lifestyle, belief system, or needs – will make our efforts ineffective;
· Second, we should identify likes, dislikes and problems. Here, we must endeavor to understand audience needs and wants, and know them inside and out – to better persuade them to act or prevent them from acting (as dictated by our communication objectives); and
· Third, we need to segment our audience. This is where we strategically break down our publics into different groups based on common characteristics, to respond similarly to our campaign. We must keep in mind, however, that segmentation is deliberate and not a random classification of people.
Do continue to stay tuned for my next issue in a few days’ time for the Second of “The Four Key Questions” – “What do I want my audience to do?” Again, I hope these easy-to-remember topics prove to be useful for both my fellow PR/Communication Professionals and our Clients/Bosses.
Thank you once more for your interest.
May you all have a great and productive week, a very Happy and Blessed 237th U.S. Independence Day Celebration and a fun and restful weekend ahead!