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Some publishers of free electronic newsletters ask subscribers to pass on copies to friends and colleagues. It's a way for publishers to reach potential subscribers, with an implied or explicit endorsement.
Speed of distribution: Some messages can't be sent out in mass, they need to be delivered individually and personally, but still need to go out quickly. The two-step process can do that.
For example, some associations use phoning trees. Simply sending written notices of meetings may not be enough to get a good turnout. So, one person phones three other members, and those members each phone three other members and so on. If everyone cooperates, phone trees are very effective (in my experience, though, 'if' is key word here).
Unofficial status: Sometimes, organizations use what politicians call trial balloons, which is to say, they want reaction to an initiative before officially announcing it.
For example, a politician might test feasibility of an idea by leaking it to media. If a news story refers to 'unnamed sources,' you may be seeing two-step strategy at work. It allows politician to get a reading on public's mood without making a commitment.
In summary, two-step process refers to idea of using third parties to pass on important messages. Conscious, creative use of process can extend your reach and give your message more impact. That makes it a useful addition to your communication toolbox.
Robert F. Abbott writes and publishes Abbott's Communication Letter. Learn how you can use communication to help achieve your goals, by reading articles or subscribing to this ad-supported newsletter. An excellent resource for leaders and managers, at: http://www.communication-newsletter.com