My friend, who is a teacher, has a new job. Of course, she wants to make an impact and is looking to set up ways to communicate to the parents, the staff, the Governors and of course the parents, in the most effective way for all audiences.
She has been thinking about blogs, social media, the school’s website and the other forms of communication most schools operate including the old fashioned but for some, only guaranteed way of working, notes in school bags.
Her dilemma is this - a host of messages, often about the same thing , but to different audiences with different things they need to know and act on. For example, a typical event at all schools this time of the year - sports day. Parents need to know when and where for which class, whether their children come dressed in their sports kits or change at school. Children, dependent on age, need to know whether they bring anything else in - extra water or running shoes - and whether they are undertaking a speciality - 100 meters, javelin or even throwing the beanbag into the hoops.
Teachers need to know how the sports day is being, literally played out, and what their role and their class’ is in it. And Governors need to know the health and safety boxes are ticked and the budget spent on it.
Recognise any similarities? Communication, whether in an office, a hospital, a school or even within a family unit, boils down to the same tenets:
The Who, the What, the Why and the How.
Who needs to know
What they need to know
Why they need to know it
How they need to action it.
It sounds simple doesn’t it? But having a comms plan that can talk to everyone and anyone, in a way they understand, through the channel they like, and to engage them so they really hear what you are saying, is the challenge.
So what’s the solution?
Like the evolution of omni-channel marketing, comes omni-communication. Taking one message and tailoring it for each audience. At Antelope we do this already for our clients. We take their gold dust and turn it into a message for their different audiences. This could be through a blog for the visitors to their site, through a PR editorial placement or guest blog to attract new customers, via a tweet or a post or through a newsletter to potential or existing customers. But we don’t just sent it through different channels. We tailor it accordingly. We speak the language they speak. So if they are a healthcare company, we might tailor the message for professionals, repurpose it for patients, edit and evolve it for carers and finally, make it accessible for those who don’t work within healthcare but might be interested to find out more.
Back to my friend and her new job. She has told me her biggest challenge is to get buy in. From her new team and from the parents. To do this she says she needs to get them onboard and hear their views but also let them know her ideas and thoughts. Engage them, excite them and motivate them. And really isn't that the ultimate aim of all marketers? To literally get buy in from their customers through engagement, to excite them with their brand and ultimately motivate them to purchase?