Once you know who you’re talking to (your audience) and what you’re going to say (your message), you get to decide how you’ll deliver your message. You’ve got lots of choices.
The communication tactics you choose will depend on your unique situation. You’ll want to keep in mind your goal, what resources you have to support your tactics (e.g., budget, time, skills), and what’s appropriate for your audience. In other words, be thoughtful and strategic as you decide how to deliver your message.
The delivery. Choose one or more of these delivery tactics.
- One-on-one meetings
- Conference presentations
- Phone calls
- Letters, postcards, email
- Letters-to-the-editor and op-eds
- Press conference
- Paid advertising
- Social media
Be direct. You want your tactics to be as direct as possible. What that means will depend on your audience.
For example, if you are working on policy change, working with policymakers (often elected officials) is essential. Communicating with Policymakers: Delivery Tips 101 provides concrete tips for delivering your message to policymakers. The tips here are geared toward an in-person meeting but can also apply to phone calls and direct correspondence.
Make Presentations. You can give presentations to community groups, including civic groups (like the Kiwanis or Lions Club), faith-based groups, neighborhood organizations, non-profits, parent teacher associations, and other formal or informal groups from whom you want support. Don’t just invite people to come to you – go to them!
Select your online platforms. Should you use Twitter, Facebook, or Snapchat to reach your audience? Hatch for Good, a deep resource for developing your storytelling strategy, offers a short assessment to help you decide which storytelling platforms make sense for you and your audience.
Bring your stories to life. Beyond the big social media platforms, the landscape of online tools to help you tell your stories is vast and continually evolving. DigitalStory.Tools is a directory of tools and resources to help you build your digital stories. It’s a site to help journalists stay on top of their digital storytelling game, but you can use it too.
Here are a couple of our favorite recent discoveries:
- StoryMapJS – If your story revolves around geographical locations, try Storymap from Knight Lab. It allows you to use photos, text, and video on maps.
- Timeline – Is your story more chronological? Try Timeline, also from Knight Lab.
- Canva – Provides templates and graphic elements you can easily drag and drop to quickly design a social media graphic or infographic.