Communication Strategies for Building
and Growing Organizations
Cynthia A. Sayers
Communication leads to community,
that is, to understanding, intimacy
and mutual valuing.
. . . Rollo May
Engage and invite others in your mission
Convey key messages
Invite collaboration and opportunity
Build and strengthen relationships with
Build your own confidence and effectiveness as
Effective communication is foundational to our
Part of a first impression is made on how well
Interpersonal communication: One to one
Mass communication: One to many
New media: Many to many
We communicate regularly with diverse groups
Know your audience. Assess your audience to
determine the best way to get your message out:
Simple is generally best.
Select the right format for the right audience:
Written, oral, face-to-face, group format, new
media (e.g., internet-based strategies)
Use vocabulary and sentence structure that will
closely mirror that of your audience.
Be open to asking questions and listening to best
understand your audience.
WHAT IS IT? HOW DO WE GET THERE?
An ability to understand, Examine our own biases
communicate with, and and prejudices
effectively interact with Develop cross-cultural
people across cultures. skills; search out a role-
Awareness of our own model.
cultural view. Spend time with people
Knowledge of and who are passionate
attitude toward cultural about cultural
differences within a competence in
Introducing a new program
Persuading someone on an idea
Explaining a concept
Influencing someone to take a course of action
Gaining commitment from others to advance a
Expanding capacity in our communities
Build partnerships and community alliances.
Develop and expand community programs and
Ignite excitement and recruit volunteers.
Invite engagement and commitment from
Get out key messages that support your
Meet the organization’s milestones as
established through strategic planning.
Puts the emphasis on the other person and invites
true communication and exchange of information.
Quality questions generally result in quality
Stimulate thinking and get people to open up.
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result,
they get better answers. . .” Anthony Robbins
“A major stimulant to creative thinking is focused
questions. There is something about a well-worded
question that often penetrates to the heart of the matter
and triggers new ideas and insights. . . “ Brian Tracy
Questions are more conversational and lay the
foundation for a great exchange of ideas.
Questions relieve your own stress and help put
you in charge.
Questions focus on the other person.
Questions can show respect for multiple
perspectives and differing viewpoints.
New Media Opportunities: wikis, slideshare, and blogs
- Wiki: a collection of web pages used to create and power community websites.
Wikis provide an opportunity for collaboration by enabling multiple users to
create, edit, and publish web pages and create community.
Slideshare: A technology strategy where presentations can be shared and your ideas
can extend to broad audiences via the internet.
Blogs: provide information on a topic by combining text, images, and links to other
blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. Readers can leave
comments in an interactive format.
Six Thinking Hats, Edward de Bono. A simple yet provocative text on strategies to
improve communication, especially in group decisionmaking.
The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Ideas, G, Richard Shell. A terrific
book on how to garner and keep support for your ideas.
Winning with People, John C. Maxwell. A fabulous book on practical ways to make
and keep winning relationships with people through effective communication.
The 7 Powers of Questions: Secrets to Successful Communication in Life and Work,
Dorothy Leeds. A practical guide to using questions as a way of uncovering the
The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to the New Social Media, Paul Gillin. An
eye-opening guide to new marketing communications strategies evolving in a
rapidly changing world.