Communication: Breaking Down so You Can Build Up

Communication: Breaking Down so You Can Build Up

Yesterday’s ways of communicating are not built for today. It’s like riding a horse on a highway. Things have simply changed too much and especially in these last few years.

In my world, I rely on professional survey instruments to help guide us on how a given client should communicate with their residents. Once upon a time, and for a very long time, surveys showed that the main way people obtained their information was through person-to-person conversations. Fast forward to now, one of the primary ways is through social media. And yet little has changed for schools to reflect this.

(Here is where I enter with a major caveat on social media: It is NOT an online bulletin board. I’ve written extensively on this topic and it is not what I am going to talk about here. But, you can visit some previous blogs here. Now, let’s return to regular programming.)

Keeping up with the times means that periodically it is time to break down how you are communicating so that you can build up new ways and retool. To do so, you should consider a few things:

  • Really know your community at-large through a valid, third-party survey. Everyone thinks they know their community but they truly do not until a valid survey is conducted. Otherwise, you hear from the loudest or those in certain circles. A valid survey will provide a broader view of your entire community.
  • Take a look under the hood with a communication audit. Find out what is working, what’s not and what needs to change or be retooled.

We work with both surveys and communication audits regularly. They work best in tandem but have other applications when conducted separately. Regardless, if you take the time to break things down and retool, then it is time well spent for you and your community.

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