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Communicating Complex Topics


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In this presentation, we'll review best practices for communicating complex information to various audiences.

Published in: Marketing
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Communicating Complex Topics

  1. 1. C OU R TN EY MEZN A R IC H Account Manager Public Relations & Marketing A U G U S T 3 , 2 0 1 7
  2. 2. • Infographics • Fact Sheets • Press Releases • Talking Points • Billing Inserts • Direct Mail • Flyers • Social Media • E-blasts • Web Posting • PowerPoint • Door Hangers • Signage • Awareness Walks C O U R T N E Y M E Z N A R I C H Account Manager 805.545.8887
  3. 3. • Determine audience—Council, staff, public, bargaining groups? • Craft relevant messages—Clear, Concise, Consistent o “Who cares?” o 3–5 messages total o Avoid jargon o Avoid specific numbers and data heavy info o 10 seconds or less • Test messages • Practice C O U R T N E Y M E Z N A R I C H Account Manager 805.545.8887
  4. 4. 1. Since 2013–14, the City made a prepayment against its unfunded retirement liabilities equal to $2,730,000. 2. Activated Fiscal Health Contingency Plan in Response to December 21, 2016 announcement that implements immediate cost saving measure and provides a pathway for long term measures to address long term unfunded liabilities. 3. Negotiated to establish a 2nd tier of lower benefits for employees and implemented the State mandated 3rd Tiers. 40% of workforce is now in 2nd and 3rd tiers, saving hundreds of thousands in Pension costs. Exact cost savings is very difficult to calculate due to CalPERS methodology of providing rates. 4. 100% of employees paying all Employee Share of CalPERS costs. 5. All “first and second tier” or classic employees represented by the Police Officers Association also pay 3% of the Employers Share of retirement cost. 6. Avoided assuming additional retiree medical costs by only providing minimum required by State law for CalPERS agencies. C O U R T N E Y M E Z N A R I C H Account Manager 805.545.8887 1. Pleasantville is using funds left over at the end of the year—roughly $2.7 million this year alone—to pay down future retirement benefits owed 2. We also activated a hiring chill and are using more temporary and contract workers who are not eligible for City pension benefits, reducing our debt further 3. We’ve shifted more than 40% of employees to a retirement plan that offers lower retirement benefits while requiring them to work later into life to get those benefits, saving $1 million this year 4. Pleasantville used to pay both the employer share and employee share of CalPERS costs, but today, employees pay 100 percent of the required employee contribution P L E A S A N T V I L L E C I T Y P E N S I O N C O S T C O N T R O L | Key Messages BEFORE AFTER
  5. 5. • Don’t develop key messages or plan in a silo • Seek outside help, whether outside your department or a communications expert • Always keep the audience in mind • Key messages first, then materials • Use appropriate tools for your audience C O U R T N E Y M E Z N A R I C H Account Manager 805.545.8887