Don’t know much about history … What I DO know is communication

By Pepper Peale
August 28th, 2017

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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By | 2017-08-28T14:59:34+00:00 August 28th, 2017|Media Relations, Vr3|Comments Off on Don’t know much about history … What I DO know is communication

About the Author:

Pepper has nearly three decades of strategic communications experience, in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. From internal communications to website content creation; from social media engagement to local, regional and national legacy media relations, she is an enthusiastic team member and a budget-conscious team leader. The spectrum of her client experience includes B2C and B2B, spanning tech, foodservice, hospitality, chemical, regional business development, special events, new product roll-outs and social services.

Pepper’s experience in identifying, targeting and engaging audiences is wide and deep. She also has international expertise in training and mentoring corporate spokespeople for investor meetings, presentations, media interviews and crisis communications.

Over her career, she has learned that just providing the work proficiently is not enough. Thoughtful planning to reach identified goals (on time and on budget) and the creation of targeted measurement matrices makes the work better and more meaningful.