The 8th message

comm methods free to useLast Monday Anita reminded us of the importance of communicating a message “8 times and 8 ways.”  It is a communication truism that people need to hear a message multiple times before it sinks in.

There’s another reason why it’s important to plan eight ways to communicate about your change goals.  As leaders, it’s easy for us to send our messages to people using our preferred methods, and then think the job is done.  Identifying eight different ways to communicate can help us use vehicles that don’t come naturally.

I recently had the privilege of attending the inauguration of Connie Gores as the new president of Southwest Minnesota State University.  While chatting with one of the students I asked how the college had communicated about the search process.  The student said he felt well-informed about the process by following the search on Facebook.  He typically doesn’t use email and often doesn’t read messages from the university, but he is frequently on Facebook.  For him, that was the best way to communicate.

A few days later I was talking with an HR colleague who said that she has discovered that the best way to communicate with some of her campus leaders is to text them. That is the one method that will guarantee a quick response to important questions.

If I were communicating my strategic message using only a few ways, there’s a good chance Facebook or texting wouldn’t be top of mind as a professional tool.  I might stick to traditional strategies such as print and email. Developing a communication plan that includes at least eight ways to spread the message makes it more likely that I’d reach out to many different audiences using their preferred modes.

What are some of the other strategies you have found to deliver your message using the 8th way?

Dee Anne

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