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Benefits of Developing Policy and Communication Strategy
People live in a society that is led by authorities. In order to avoid issues between and among these parties, policies and laws are developed. They serve as guidelines that help both governments and individuals to respond to various situations. In general, the population is aware of all major policies and laws because they are taught by parents and teachers.
Those that are new are acknowledged through the news. However, sometimes there is a necessity to change them because of the alterations that happen in the country and the world (Community Tool Box 2016). In this framework, it is critical for policymakers to prepare a clear and convincing speech that can make others accept change. In this case, a comprehensive communication strategy is rather beneficial because it provides an opportunity to appeal to the targeted audience.
Developing a policy and communication strategy at the same time, professionals increase their chances of maintaining a policy change. Being engaged in the process of defining all peculiarities of policy, they keep in mind not only those characteristics that are the most critical but also those that reveal some minor features. As a result, they can be considered when developing a communication strategy. Such an approach ensures that the targeted audience understands the importance of the alterations.
At the same time, professionals focus on a particular segment of the population and can adjust policy to it. In this way, people will feel valued and realize how they fit in, which is likely to increase their willingness to support the change. Advantages that are observed by both parties ensure the development of healthy relations between them. It is also easier to share ideas and fulfill tasks in such an environment because cooperation and understanding improve.
Working with a team when developing a policy, professionals can enhance their productivity if they use a comprehensive communication strategy. Open environment boosts morale and promotes effective communication between the members, which streamlines the work towards a common goal. Thus, this strategy provides an opportunity to manage individuals with no critical issues so that everyone understands personal roles and tasks. Unnecessary delays in the development of a policy and its implementation can be reduced and even avoided as a result (Shortall 2016).
Improvement of the Communications Skills
The ability to develop a comprehensive communication strategy depends greatly on the communication skills obtained by the professional and his/her team. Even though individuals communicate differently, they are able to improve these skills with the course of time. Having better conversations, people can make it easier for others to understand them and even affect decisions made by others. Various steps can be maintained to enhance communication skills, but the most advantage can be obtained from the following ones:
- Listen to others. Very often, people interrupt one another when communicating and do not pay enough attention to some details. Such situations should be avoided to understand what is needed by a team or targeted audience and to appeal to them.
- Resort to empathy. To improve their responses, people should practice their empathy. Even if they do not accept the views of others, they should be able to take them into consideration and to think of the way they affect the behavior and worldview of the responders.
- Make a speech brief and up to a point. When perceiving information, people can be very attentive only for a short period of time. That is why it is significant to make specific and short statements.
- Pay attention to the audience and adjust the message. People perceive information in different ways, depending on their experience, age, etc. Using an appropriate communication style, professionals obtain an opportunity to appeal to the audience and ensure its understanding of a message.
- Avoid distractors. Things that are not connected with communication, such as phones, should not be involved because they make it ineffective.
- Be active. Ask questions, use rhetoric statements, and repeat opponent’s ideas to improve understanding and show your involvement and interest.
- Have a plan. Develop a script for particular situations, such as communication-related to family, occupation, etc.
- Avoid unnecessary fillers. Such works as “um” or “like” make a speechless persuasive.
- Pay attention to body language. Non-verbal cues are perceived by the audience, even without realizing it. An eye contact, for instance, can make one look more self-assured (Pinola 2014).
Understanding the Audience
It is important for the professionals who develop a policy to understand the audience they are communicating with because they can define and use appropriate communicative strategies in this way. An audience-centered approach in public speaking is widely used nowadays. In its framework, professionals get to know the main information about people’s demographics. They learn the average age, gender, education, and religion, etc. As a consequence, they can find common ground, on which the conversation can be based and understanding of a perspective ensured.
Mainly, knowing who those people who will listen to the speech are, professionals can plan a message and adapt it carefully. Here, they need to focus on the level of understanding because it defines the simplicity and complexity of the information. The individual background is also to be taken into consideration, of course. As a result, it is possible to avoid saying inappropriate things. For instance, some people may not understand particular jokes or even treat them as offends even though, in general, such an approach is often valued by the audience. In addition to that, an audience-centered approach ensures that professionals reveal their thoughts and ideas in a way that is understood by the listeners. It allows them to emphasize those items that are interesting to people and attract their attention (Lumen Instructure n.d.).
Contacting Different Target Audiences
It is impossible to reach different target audiences in the same way. For the message to be understood in a right way, specific methods to contact people are required. When deciding how to approach them, professionals should take into consideration the peculiarities of their age and background. In this way, it will be possible to contact more people who will support particular ideas.
For instance, when dealing with the youth and young adults, professionals tend to benefit from using online methods, such as social media. This audience spends a lot of time surfing the Internet that is why it is more likely to get a message in this way. In addition to that, social media including Facebook and Twitter allow professionals to reach those people who can hardly be reached geographically. It is also advantageous that people can share information online and spread the message themselves, which simplifies the work for the professionals.
A more adult population does not use social media rather often that is why it is not advantageous to use it in order to communicate a message. Advantages can be observed if resorting to TV advertisements, for instance. A lot of people turn on their TVs with no particular desire to watch something that is why they also watch many different ads (Hussain 2011). It is also possible to contact leaders of different organizations so that they spread information among their employees. In a similar way, it is possible to cooperate with companies in the framework of mutual advertising (Fisher n.d.).
Realizing what method should be used for a particular audience, professionals increase their chances to fulfill all tasks successfully. They can increase the number of people they approach and streamline the process of message sharing.
Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Communication Strategy
When professionals design a communication strategy, they also need to think of the ways to evaluate its effectiveness. Knowing whether it works or not, they obtain an opportunity to implement changes if they are needed and improve the situation before it provides adverse influence. It also allows allocating resources appropriately so that they help to achieve desired results.
Evaluation should start with a baseline because all positive and negative changes can be observed only when comparing the current situation with the previous one. Then evaluation questions should be developed so that it becomes clear what is expected to change. On the basis of this information, specific techniques and tools are selected.
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For example, professionals can start evaluating their communication strategy with activity metrics. In this way, they can define how they produce and share a message. Research metrics can be approached when evaluating the targeted audience, including its size and appropriateness. Engagement ones reveal when and how people start responding to the message and supporting ideas. Impact metrics allow professionals to assess provided changes and to see whether the communication was effective (The Nonprofit Times 2014).
The very process of evaluation can be maintained in different ways. For instance, tracking tools to monitor traffic can be used if a message was shared online. Surveys can be used when there is a necessity to categorize information. Observation of alterations in people’s behaviors and their responses to messages can be maintained. In addition to that, it is possible to conduct a content analysis. It allows to see the connection between communication activities and changes (Maeoka 2010).
If a communication strategy that is used by a professional has already proved its effectiveness, he/she should consider the way to ensure that this success will not be lost. To make sure that the audience continues to listen to a message, one should make sure that it remains interesting. It is possible to add something new to appeal to the changing demands of the population. It is also possible to tell the audience why it is important to listen to the message. Emphasis can be made on the fact that some advantageous changes are already observed (Mitchell n.d.). The language of the message should be still simple and easy to comprehend (Everse 2011). Emotional noise should constantly be minimalized. Still, the most critical thing is to monitor changes and ensure that they remain beneficial.
Thus, it can be concluded that effective communication strategy is vital for developing a policy. In order to use the most appropriate strategy, professionals should focus on the demographics of the targeted audience because various approaches appeal to different people. It is significant to enhance communication skills to obtain positive effects and fulfill all the tasks. The very effectiveness of the strategy can be evaluated with the help of specific methods and tools. In this way, professionals can find out if some alterations are needed.
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Lumen Instructure n.d., Benefits of understanding your audience. 2017.
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Mitchell, O n.d, 7 ways to keep audience attention during your presentation, 2017.
Pinola, M 2014, Top 10 ways to improve your communication skills, 2017.
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