When your audience or market believes you always have their best interest at heart, every message will resonate — even in the midst of crisis.
Nothing drives the impact of a message more than the presence (or absence) of trust.
Trust provides a more effective platform than any pulpit…from sanctuary to bully. Once earned, it lifts communiques above the noise and confusion of any market place.
Trust shapes context and tone, making it possible to eliminate all of the ifs, ands or buts that characterize average messaging.
Trust makes it possible to accomplish more in less time, with fewer words and less falderal than the grandest strategy.
Trust is the product of an intentional, disproportionate investment in listening. This is the brand of listening that, to borrow from St. Francis of Assisi, seeks less to be understood than to understand. This kind of listening speaks volumes.
Where there is trust, there is mutual respect, a ready ear, and fertile ground for motivation, collaboration, innovation and change.
If You’re Wrestling With Communication
The degree to which an audience embraces a message — whether it be partners, work force, professional allies, vendors or a target market-at-large — is in direct proportion to the degree to which the audience trusts the messenger.
This should be good news where genuine relationships have been cultivated.
Even so, many wrestle with the content of messaging in a crisis. What should a communication plan look like? Here is a suggested framework.
- Be proactive — when it comes to communicating with stakeholders, internal as well as allies and vendors, take the initiative — communicate early.
- Be honest — trust is a powerful building block, but nothing can destroy it more quickly than blowing smoke.
- Be transparent — akin to honesty, this is about pulling back the curtain, and telling the whole truth — done properly, nothing deepens trust more quickly.
- Make it about the audience — messages that resonate address real issues or needs, and deliver value.
Use this framework for your communication in the midst of today’s crisis, and you’ll accomplish two things: you’ll have a much better shot at delivering a message that resonates; and, you’ll strengthen the bond of trust with every facet of your audience…which will have its own payoff on the other side of Covid-19.