Join Brenda Bailey-Hughes for an in-depth discussion in this video Message: Frame, part of Organization Communication.
- Now that we're focused on one central idea, we frame that idea for our intended audience. Consider the audience's knowledge level, possible reactions, and reason for listening. Frame your message to align with the unique needs of your listeners. When we present to executives, for example, we realize that they are most concerned with the big picture and bottom line results. When someone makes a technical recommendation, your CEO needs to know how much it will cost, what the risks are, and what the benefits are.
The engineer who will actually create the solution has a much different list of needs. Remember Emily, our training director, who has to conduct mandatory training at her bank? She did her homework, talked to people, and found out the different mental filters her receivers were likely to have. This helps her frame her message. She decided to write two different emails, one for the more experienced tellers who might not be too thrilled about more customer service training and a different email for the new hires who actually seem pretty happy about it.
Here's Emily, sharing her two invitations. Her bottom line message stays the same, sign up for training. But notice the differences in how she frames that same message. We are proud of our customer service and recognize that it is one of competitive advantages. To keep our A plus service ratings, we're conducting training for all our tellers. Use the link below to sign up for a one day training session to be held at corporate headquarters in room 223.
Your branch manager has approved all of the dates and times that you will see listed. Dress is casual and all you need to bring is your enthusiasm. Lunch will be provided. See you next month. The more experienced tellers aren't quite so thrilled. They're concerned that this will be a repeat of what they've already heard a few years ago. So I tried engaging them more in the process like this. We're proud of our customer service and recognize that those of you on the front line are responsible for our A plus service ratings.
To keep our exceptional service levels, we're scheduling time to share best practices and to discuss the most challenging customer issues you encounter. Use the link below to sign up. In addition to framing her message for the unique needs of her receivers, Emily also realized that an effective message will be a campaign rather than just a one-shot deal. Some marketing experts say that repeating a message three times will work while others live by the rule of seven.
A Microsoft study on audio messages concluded that between six and 20 repetitions is best. Regardless of the exact number of repetitions or effective frequency, it's pretty clear that once doesn't cut it. Commercials air over and over and over because advertisers know the value of repeating a message. Nike's Just Do It campaign has been used for over 26 years.
M&Ms that melt in your mouth, not in your hands have been around since 1954. So Emily not only sent that initial email invitation that we heard, she called or visited every branch manager and asked them to tell their staff about the training. She put a message about it in the quarterly update. She posted a flyer on all of the break room bulletin boards. And she followed up with a phone call to anyone who hadn't registered for training at least a week before the deadline.
Don't give up. If you state your message once and don't feel heard, don't expect everyone to hear, remember, believe, and act on your message because you sent out one email or talked about your idea in one meeting. My bottom line message for you is focus and frame. Focus on your bottom line message, your must remember message. Frame for your unique audience. Focus and frame.
- Who is the receiver of the message?
- Who would be the best sender?
- What is the focus of the message?
- How will it be interpreted?
- Is feedback necessary?
- What is the best channel?
- What is the context for the message?
Along the way, Brenda shows how these key questions apply to four real-world scenarios at organizations of different sizes, locations, and functions. By the end of the course, you'll have the skills you need to improve the internal and external communication strategies at your company.