Misinformation is everywhere. And while social media undoubtedly have accelerated its spread, social media platforms aren’t the only cause. In some cases, organizations simply aren’t sharing the right information with the right people.
That’s especially true when they are communicating complex issues.
Earlier this summer, MCCI President Rich Donley and I presented a webinar to members of the Michigan Municipal League on how to make hard-to-understand issues understandable. We were joined by our client partners from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office.
The webinar was built around communicating a complicated issue – Michigan’s revised Lead and Copper Rule, which requires communities to replace all of their lead service lines by 2041.
Like other complicated issues, the Lead and Copper Rule has raised questions from people throughout the state. And like other issues, answering those questions – as well as doing it in a proactive manner – requires strategic communications planning and messaging.
How do you do that? By serving yourself a slice of “RPIE” – a process that communications professionals know as research, planning, implementation and evaluation.
Good communication starts with research. Research doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should help you understand what misinformation or presumptions already exist about what you are trying to communicate.
With your research, you can begin the planning process to outline your goals, measurable objectives, strategies and tactics. (This is when you develop your messaging, which should be clear and consistent.) And from there you move, first, to implementation and then, finally, to evaluation. You always should be prepared to regularly evaluate and update your communications plan and messaging.
To learn more about using RPIE to make hard-to-understand issues understandable, click on the link at the top to download our one-pager with tips.
Check out our webinar and let’s connect so we can solve your challenges through communications planning and messaging.