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Communicating Your Vision in Good Times and Bad


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Is your strategic plan gathering dust on a shelf or is the vision it inspires spurring your donors (and staff) into action? Are you making the most of every mode of communication available—including social media outlets Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter—to articulate your vision? Are you using the same stale language and style of communication you used 25 years ago to get today’s messages across? Now more than ever, creating and communicating a strong shared vision is one of the most important activities an institutional leader can perform. In uncertain economic times, it can mean the difference between floundering and thriving. Join us to discuss the most effective way to turn a strategic plan into a vision that moves people into action, what innovative communication and writing techniques work best in today’s digital age, and what your personal communication style says about you.

Session developed by Tracey Palmer of Palmer Communications, Andy Tiedemann of Emerson College, and Tamsen McMahon of Sametz Blackstone Associates. Presented as part of the CASE District 1 2010 Conference in Boston, January 27-29.

Published in: Business, Technology
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Communicating Your Vision in Good Times and Bad

  1. 1. Communicating Your Vision In Good Times and Bad CASE District 1, Boston January 28, 2010
  2. 2. Hi <ul><li>Tamsen McMahon </li></ul><ul><li>Sametz Blackstone Associates </li></ul><ul><li>Tracey Palmer </li></ul><ul><li>Palmer Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Tiedemann </li></ul><ul><li>Emerson College </li></ul>
  3. 3. Are you strategic? <ul><li>What’s your Mission Statement? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s your Positioning Statement? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s your Vision Statement? </li></ul>
  4. 4. 7 Definitions <ul><li>Strategic Plan </li></ul><ul><li>A comprehensive document that covers how all aspects of an organization’s work, programs/services, management/operations, fundraising, finances, facilities & governance will be aligned over a set period of time toward the achievement of strategic goals </li></ul>
  5. 5. 7 Definitions <ul><li>2. Mission Statement </li></ul><ul><li>A concise expression of the organization’s purpose. It should answer: Why do we exist? What do we do? </li></ul><ul><li>3. Vision </li></ul><ul><li>A concise, compelling description of the organization’s desired future state </li></ul>
  6. 6. 7 Definitions <ul><li>4. Values Statement </li></ul><ul><li>Answers: What do we believe in? What characterizes how we do what we do? </li></ul><ul><li>5. Communication Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Articulates how an organization will achieve goals using communications media </li></ul>
  7. 7. 7 Definitions <ul><li>6. Positioning Statement </li></ul><ul><li>What position do you occupy in the constituent’s mind? Based in reality, not an image or posture, grounded in actual accomplishments and relationships. Articulates what makes you ‘you’ </li></ul><ul><li>(AKA brand) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Positioning Statement Template <ul><li>For ( target audience) , (brand name) is the (frame of reference) that delivers (benefit/point of difference) because only (brand name) is reason to believe) . </li></ul>
  9. 9. 7 Definitions <ul><li>7. Messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Communicates the ideas of the positioning statement, leads to action </li></ul>
  10. 10. Why Now? <ul><ul><ul><li>In turbulent times, we need inspiration, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>clarification, and direction. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A vision can do this. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Communicating Vision (if you have a Strategic Plan) <ul><ul><ul><li>How does it relate to today’s challenges/opportunities? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How is your institution doing at following the plan? (Measurable progress?) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who needs to act for your vision to be successful? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What action(s) must they take? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What information do they need to take action? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does your audience understand your message(s)? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Are you repeating regularly, across multiple channels? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can your institution back it up with actions? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Communicating Vision (If you don’t have a strategic plan) <ul><ul><ul><li>• Accreditation study report </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>• Case statements/feasibility study findings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Annual report message from president/leaders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Master plan </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Channels <ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple media </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Repetition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, texting, IM, blogs, mobile apps… </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Language <ul><ul><ul><li>Make it memorable/Tell stories </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What’s in it for me? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Hey’ ‘You’ ‘So’ ‘See’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Translate it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it short </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blackberry: 15 words </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> Twitter: 140 characters </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Measurement <ul><li>Determine measurement FIRST </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring v. Measurement </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative v. Quantitative </li></ul><ul><li>Goals  Metrics  Tools </li></ul>
  16. 16. Questions