Lessons From My Son About Your Target Audience! 

I’ve always been impressed with my son’s uncanny ability to connect with people of any age. Whether he’s ensuring a lone little kid has a playmate or schooling older adults on smartphone or computer skills, Patrick always finds a way to engage and build trust. I suspect it’s not only because he has an infinite amount of patience, but also because he cares and is genuinely curious. He listens in a way that makes people feel valued – and he likes to hear their stories. I think communicators could learn a thing or two from Patrick about engaging key audiences.

If we ever hope to be the trusted advisors organizations need, we have to help them understand how important it is to get into the minds of the people most critical to their success. That means listening and gathering insights so we can respond and engage in a way that makes customers feel valued – the way Patrick does.😁 

When we do, we’ll eliminate the “shouting-into-the-void” messaging approach that so often restricts our ability to connect or inspire action from anyone. 

It’s tempting to jump to implementation without first seeking to understand the motivations, desires, likes, and dislikes of key stakeholders, but when you take the time to do so, your communications activities will be much more strategic and effective.

When leaders get caught up (as they inevitably do) in the “day-to-day,” a big part of our job as communicators is to hold out the “pause” button and encourage them to press it.

And when we do, we need to be prepared with a consistent, structured way to use that time to help everyone work together to identify, validate and prioritize the audiences most important to them. Doing so will create more meaningful engagement that builds trust, instills loyalty, and ultimately impacts the bottom line (sorta like Patrick😁).

A big part of the work I do to prepare for corporate messaging sessions involves gathering insights about key stakeholders. It’s also a critical component of the process I teach to communications pros who want to offer strategic messaging support to their own companies or clients.
If you’re struggling with the best way to gather information about key stakeholders or how to get companies aligned around clear, consistent messaging, reach out. We’ll chat about your challenges and how I might be able to help.