Identify Communication Strategies

How will you deliver the message?

Selecting the right strategies can save time and money, as well as increase the reach and effectiveness of your message.

One-on-one communication is the most time consuming, but it is also the most powerful. Think about it. What are you most likely to remember? Trust? Something your neighbor tells you or a newspaper or radio ad? This is why having a network of library advocates ready and willing to speak out is invaluable.

Mass media are most effective in reaching large numbers of people. Editorial endorsements, in particular, carry great weight with both legislators and the public.

Outreach to groups—through speaking engagements, library tours or mailings—is an effective way of reaching key audiences who share particular interests and concerns.

In addition to identifying strategies, your communication plan should include a schedule for the number of contacts, e.g. number and timing of telephone calls to key leaders, news releases and public service announcements, placement of op-ed pieces, radio and TV interviews and presentations to key groups.

Consider the following when deciding which strategies to use:

  • WHO is the audience?
  • WHAT is the best way to convey the information to the target audience—radio, TV, direct mail, other? What kind of image do you want to project? Will it be an effective part of your total communication effort?
  • WHEN is the deadline? Will your message be distributed in time to be effective?
  • HOW much will it cost? Is this the most effective use of available funds?
  • WHY is this the best strategy for this audience?

How will you deliver the message?

Here are some commonly used strategies for getting the message out:

  • Banners/Posters/Displays
  • Handouts/Giveaways
  • Mailings
    Media: Newspapers, newsletters, radio, TV
  • Print materials: fact sheet, newsletter, flyers, tent cards, etc.
  • Web site
  • E-mail lists
  • Presentations to groups
  • Partnerships
  • Word of mouth
  • Rally/kick off party

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