Much of my work in 2015 so far has been teaching/training teams of communicators in Strategic Communications Planning. The seminars ground students in the business goals and then moves them to communications goals, audience analysis, strategy, tools/tactics, key messages and evaluation. And, I add some intense discussions around “what level of plan do you need?” and “communicators learning to behave as consultants”.
Inevitably there is some discussion and debate when we talk about detailed audience analysis. I contend that media is not an audience, but instead a channel to reach the intended audience. Important? Absolutely. But, an audience in the same way as others? No. Although I admit this is mostly an issue of semantics, since it doesn’t change a lot about the strategy, I still think it is an important distinction. If we think of media as a channel, we put them in the appropriate context, formulate our messages and strategies to reach out to media in a more thoughtful manner and are less likely to think of media relations as the silver bullet that will accomplish everything.
Teaching and training is one of my favourite types of work and I always welcome discussion and debate with participants.