Vehr_HistoryCommunicationsDon’t know much about history … What I DO know is communication. And, President Trump needs to talk to me (or someone with my skillset) fast. Or his recent history and his present will most certainly be his future.

Now, rest assured, I am not picking on 45. Regardless of your politics, if you are a spokesperson (let alone the leader of the free world) and you must comment, you (or someone who works for you) needs to do SEVEN things well:

  1. Identify the target audience(s) – WHO are you talking to?
  2. Determine your key message(s) – WHAT are core important things to say?
  3. Decide strategic timing — WHEN should you share (and re-share) those messages to your audiences?
  4. Choose meaningful optics – WHERE is the best place to take part in the story?
  5. Set an achievable goal – WHY are you taking part in the story (is your comment expected/needed)?
  6. Control the way you communicate – HOW will you disseminate this information?
  7. Be consistent as you ABIDE numbers 1 through 6.

Sometimes these kinds of baby steps may seem to slow things down too much. It may seem almost insulting to ask leadership to answer these basic questions. However, slowing leadership down may be the smartest – and yes, hardest – thing that corporate communications teams do.

Face it: This is not rocket science. This is COMM 101. However, it still requires showing up, doing the homework, being prepared for class. That all takes forethought and discipline. Talking is easy. Communicating is hard.

And don’t even get me started on narrow-casting. That is a 400-level class.

So for now, if all of us would just stick to answering these seven questions every time someone steps up to a mic … what a wonderful world this would be.

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