Meaningful Message, Personalized PR
In their study "Capitalizing on Effective Communications," Watson Wyatt examines what it means for an organization to
communicate effectively by studying both effective and ineffective firms. The amount of information they dispense
is immense, but one conclusion in particular is important for the public
relations profession. Of the firms
Wyatt studied, the most effective communicators tailored their messaging directly
to the individual groups they aimed to engage
A concept sometimes taken for granted by poor communicators is individuality. Every individual has unique feelings, opinions, beliefs and thoughts. No one person is alike. Because of this, the way that two people interpret the same message can be drastically different. The idea of individuality is not new, and yet poor communicators continue to make the same mistake of sending out one message and hoping it fits every group.
While it is impossible for communicators to tailor a message for every person they approach, segmenting goes a long way. Market research and trends allow the active communicator to group individuals based on any number of factors (age, gender, interests, shoe size, anything!) The strategic communicator will specific target groups as part of the communication planning, and will set to work.
The resulting messaging, when done correctly, will speak to the interest or opinion that were used to group the individual. Starting from the consistent core message, an organization can tweak certain parts and emphasize certain others to capture interest among stakeholders. Most importantly, a directed message has a greater chance of capturing interest than basic overarching messaging.
Tailoring messages is an important part of communication planning, and communicators ignore this step at their own peril.