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Communication Matters — Channels

Communication Matters is a research project commissioned by The Communications Network, designed to identify the foundations for effective strategic communications in the social sector. The model for successful organizations incorporates brand, strategy, culture, and action. Channels is an attribute of Strategy.

Your likelihood for success increases when you chose the right channel to deliver your message. Consider how you want your audience to receive and engage your communication.

Earned media may be a useful means of distribution if you are trying to reach a broad, general audience. But be mindful of the risks. Can you control how (or if) the story will be reported? Will coverage in newspapers, television, radio or other traditional media formats reach the audiences you care most about?

Paid media is another option. But think carefully about whether you have the resources required to pay for expensive advertising, and if such tactics will have the resonance and influence you need to best advance your goal?

Owned media is often the least expensive choice. This includes all the channels that your organization controls directly – your website and newsletter, your email distribution list, the social media channels that you manage. The price tag might be more appealing, but will these channels help you reach the decision makers you’ve identified as your key audience?

Social media is a category unto itself. It includes Facebook, Twitter, and all the related tools, apps and feeds that so many of us now rely on every day. The potential for spreading your message may be high, but can you control how that message spreads and evolves once you seed the conversation?

The likely answer lies in some combination of all the above. The key is making choices that are best for your clearly defined goals and available resources.

Download the full presentation for Channels.

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