After participating in several stakeholder events with federal government leaders this past year, the one consistent theme that has emerged is the need to increase awareness of the goals and priorities of their organizations-the priorities on which those organizations are currently investing serious time and resources. Many federal organizations struggle to communicate the value of what they are doing and to build important partnerships. Make a New Year’s Resolution to make 2015 the year you get your message out effectively. This takes time, so what steps can you take now, knowing 2015 is fast approaching and planning must begin? Here are five steps you can begin addressing today:
- Set Priorities: Before you do anything else take a moment to map out the different milestones, events, and deliverables you wish to achieve in 2015.You’ll want to showcase your work by leveraging all of your outreach capabilities. Highlight the impacts you’re making in the field and the progress your making with your strategic goals.
- State Your Goals Clearly: Make the goals of your organization clearly accessible and indicate how your customers can fit into the different planning processes within your organization. You can test this concept by asking a friend to visit your website and to see if he or she understands your mission, priorities, and how he or she can get more involved.
- Encourage Two Way Communication: Make it clear on your website, social media channels, and select outreach materials who the point(s) of contact are for directing questions. Effective communication requires platforms for having two-way conversations, so meet with your web and social media colleagues to increase the awareness and information sharing around how customers can do business with your organization.
- Promote Partnerships: Partnerships play an important role in getting your message out. Partners are crucial in helping to amplify what you are doing through social media platforms, webinars, external speaking engagements, videos, and blog testimonies. Partnerships extend your reach and reaffirm your value. Without partnerships, your organization’s value can get lost or even misrepresented, which in this age of social media will directly impact your credibility and trust.
- Update Your Brand: Consider incorporating new graphics and photos onto your outreach platforms. When preparing speaking engagements and exhibit outreach, add video and prepare take-away flyers that look different from standard letter-size papers. Incorporate your brand across all your platforms, including your website, exhibit and media backdrops, social media platforms, and even email signature lines. This consistency will remind your customers of your organization’s mission and service offerings. Consider the types of information you want to develop to support your outreach schedule. This includes website updates, exhibits and speaking engagements, talking points, videos, graphics, updates for relevant trade publications and association newsletters, and media interviews.
If your organization is clear about what it stands for, who to contact for more information, and what opportunities exist for future collaboration, you will improve your organization’s trust and credibility. Your customers will know who you are, and serve as partners that help drive messaging.
We’d like to hear from you about what has worked for your organization. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on our blog. Until next time, I hope your value is on the rise.