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1. What is your objective, what do you want to happen? Do you want more sales, reduced employee turnover, renewals by members? Be specific about your objectives, and if you can attach time and dollar values to them so much better.
2. What response of readers or listeners is necessary? What action should they take? What thoughts do you want them to keep in their minds? Do you want to reinforce existing thinking or behaviors? What do they need to do in terms of your objective?
3. Why would they respond to your message? It's all very well for you to have objectives, but you'll also have to offer something that provides value in their terms. Think of commercial broadcasting, which combines free entertainment with advertising messages.
4. What message content will motivate them to act? What subjects will provide that value to them?
5. How will you present that content? You can entertain, inform, consult, challenge, solve problems, and more.
6. How often will you have to repeat message? In many cases, you'll need to make multiple contacts to get response you want. Stockbrokers making sales calls, for example, figure on an average of five to seven contacts before a prospect becomes a potential client.
7. If you quantified your objectives, does value of meeting objective exceed cost of communicating? In a marketing context, for example, how many sales do you have to make to pay cost of your advertising campaign?
Going through these steps will start us on right foot, because it pushes us to think about responses. And, when we're focused on responses, we're much more likely to communicate effectively.
Robert F. Abbott writes and publishes Abbott's Communication Letter. Each week subscribers receive, at no charge, a new communication tip that helps them lead or manage more effectively. Click here for more information: http://www.CommunicationNewsletter.com