June 20, 2016
/ by Maria Materise
In today’s content-crowded world, it’s easy for your grassroots message to go unnoticed. But if you can’t make your audience pay attention, how will you convince them to take action?
You need to engage your audience using the right platforms, innovative technology and targeted communication.
At their recent webinar, “Are Your Grassroots Efforts Generating Enough Buzz?” public affairs campaign strategist Mike Panetta of Beekeeper Group and Mark Reilly, vice president of Cision Government Relations, discussed how to motivate your supporters through an integrated strategic communication strategy.
Here are five tactics you can adapt today to improve your grassroots communication and make your message heard:
If you’re sending a generic message to your entire audience base, not everyone will react to it. In fact, most will ignore it. The more information you have on your supporters, the better you can tailor your messaging to ensure it resonates.
“You need to a build a community, more than a list,” says Mike.
You need to look at your supporters as people with unique interests, values and habits. Start by tracking how they interact with your content to identify which platforms get the most traffic and what messages are most effective.
Use surveys and A/B testing to get an even clearer picture of the type of communication your audience prefers. Use your findings and send different messages to different audiences. Measure, analyze, send and repeat.
Your audience isn’t always taking the time to sit down at a computer and carefully read your message. Instead, they’re often on the go and accessing your content from multiple screens and devices.
Cision’s State of the Media 2016 Report found that 92 percent of journalists said that their companies were already mobile-ready. If you want to compete for your audience’s attention, your content needs to be too.
Consider using a responsive design for your website. This will adapt your layout to the size of your audience’s screen, making it more appealing.
You probably already know your organization needs to be using social media. But do you know which platforms you should be on? This goes back to understanding your supporters and where they are looking for your content.
New social platforms are constantly popping up, and your audience is jumping on a lot of them. “Just because you aren’t on a platform doesn’t mean your audience isn’t,” says Mike.
Listen to your audience on social media to determine which platforms it uses most often and engage with your supporters there.
Be sure to adapt your messaging based on the platform you use. People on Twitter aren’t looking for the same type of content as people on Facebook and vice versa. While your content will vary across platforms, the overall message should be consistent.
Your organization is competing with everything on the Internet to gain your audience’s attention, not just your competitors, and fact sheets and press releases just aren’t cutting it anymore.
Your audience is interested in content that is easy to read and sparks emotion. While text-heavy content is not very inviting, multimedia like interactive quizzes, infographics and live videos will be more likely to attract attention.
Content should also be something that people can easily share. If your supporters share it, then you’ll gain access to a wider audience.
Getting media coverage of your issue, while still helpful, will not always get you the support that you need. Instead of focusing on the big name media outlets, look at the journalists, bloggers and social media users who are talking about your issue.
Influencers already have an engaged audience who will likely be interested in and responsive toward your issue. If you can team up with an influencer and get your content in front of their audience, you’ll not only help drive online activity, but also motivate them to take action in the real world.
Images via Pixabay: 1, 2, 3
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