Innovation of Business

and the
Business of Innovation™
 
Toolkit - Communications

The Communications InnoKit

Quick View: Imagine your next presentation: management, investor, venture capitalist, board of directors, merger partner, customer, ally. You know every detail of your opportunity. You have both expertise and experience. Problem is… that all those resources haven’t made the difference. Details seem to frustrate audiences like this. They want something more, but when you deliver more, they act like you’ve missed the point.

Indeed, you have. They are skeptical and jaded. They don’t care about you, your idea, your expertise, your product, your business, or your plans. Never have and never will.

They only care about what you can do for them. Do you know what they want you to do for them? Do you know so well that you can stand in their shoes? So well you can speak to their true needs? Think of it as your “center.” You’ve practiced presentations about yourself or your product or business. Now create and practice audience-centered communication. Customer-centered. Investor-centered.

Product brochures are not about products. Business plans not about businesses. Project reviews not about projects. Sales calls not about sales. Each is about the value to each specific audience.

Brands are not words, images, slogans, or the sum of those. Brands live in the minds of people in marketplaces. Brands are promises made and met so well that customers will go the extra mile for their products. A worthy challenge.

Communications InnoKit: Creation of a strategic framework for tactical development of one or a suite of communications which achieve desired market influence.

Objectives: Audience-centered communications that meet or exceed communication objectives and directly support corporate objectives.

Positive, productive relationships. No lesser purpose is adequate.

Balance: Information conveyed and perceptions managed, together, at equal priority.

Multiple focus: Distinct audience elements reached, honoring distinct motivations and tendencies.

Multiple influence: Positive responses from a range of audience members. For instance, a presentation to management, mid management, and technical evaluators, all in the same communication.

Closed “deals”: Desired results achieved. Avoidance of losing the sale at the last minute.

Benefits of effective business communications, including scientific and technical papers:

Return on your investment: Pay off in desired audience responses

Return on your opportunity: Effectiveness in capturing attention

Impact on your target audiences: Abilities to consistently change the way others think and act

Investment in your opportunity: Positive response to proposals

Image as a winner: Positive perceptions by your target audiences that open doors to new opportunities

Relationships: Consistent increase in the win-win value of interactions and opportunity sharing between communication partners.

Tactics come in three types: Teaching basic principles, managing communications, and developing skills.

Instill principles: Educate and persuade agreement of principles. Apply fundamental communications principles (at least those listed in the ToolKit). These will be broken out into quality factors in the next step and used in feedback processes in the final step. Everything done in communication management will support the principles.

Guidelines: Define tight, clear recommendations for development of each type of communication for a particular audience. Define principles for quality.

Engineering: Design for impact before writing. (or website development, or social marketing).

The Center: Organize for impact. Know the core issues and core decision makers and then speak directly to them.

Specific Communications: Some language here assumes familiarity with branding.

Feedback: Enable ongoing learning about communication by both authors and reviewers. If self-administered, the review directly delivers self teaching. If administered by separate reviewers, the way the information is shared has a big impact on learning by the author.

Timing:

Phase I: Core message and brand

Phase II: Engineering the center. Organization of message content with respect to communication elements. If a website, development of structure and functionality of pages.

Phase III: Draft content of words, images, graphics, demonstrations, etc. Functionality of website pages and links. Layout of trade-show exhibits. etc.

Phase IV: Testing. If a presentation, practice. If a website, beta testing. If an exhibit, verification of demonstrations. etc.

Phase V: Production. Launch of website, printing of brochures, contract for exhibit production.

Phase VI: Delivery of message by a range of communications all of which reinforce each other to build lasting win-win relationships with target audiences.

 


 



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