We in education tend to be a logical lot: We spend a lot of time looking at data, reviewing best practices, and engaging in very heady professional development. So, there is a tendency, I have found, when creating messages for communication, to focus on the head rather than the heart.
The fact is that when we are creating the message for our communication efforts, we need to focus on both the head and the heart.
As a review, I see message creation as the third step in communication planning.
Communication planning, as I have outlined in previous videos, begins with creating goals for your communication, selecting stakeholders who are aligned with the goals, and then selecting messages.
After determining goals and the stakeholders that need to be engaged, as well as the messages with which they will be engaged, we then need to select tools to engage our stakeholders with our messages. Our last step is reflecting on our progress and improving our communication efforts.
The most difficult part of this planning process is selecting messages. Messages, as I have said, are bite-sized pieces of information that your stakeholders should know, understand, and feel.
It is the “feel” part that is most often missed in this process. When creating your messages, don’t just try to try to convey information that stakeholders will consider with their brains, but also that they will feel with their hearts. Do not be afraid to be passionate when conveying a message—tell stories, give evidence, and make your audiences feel an emotion attached to what you are conveying.
In future posts, I will go more into emotional messages. In the meantime, if you have ideas that you would like to share, please use the feedback email address at the end to share it.