Leveraging Strategic Communication for Organizational Success

Ishola Ayodele
Ishola Ayodele

Leveraging Strategic Communication for Organizational Success

The realm of communication is a labyrinth of diverse perspectives, biases, and frames of mind. In my previous article, “The Peril of Unintended Misinterpretation,” the feedback was overwhelming and this article is inspired by a few observations which argued that, “No matter how well-crafted or how well framed a statement is, individuals influenced by their different frames of mind, frames of reference, biases, prejudices, motives, religious and political beliefs or inclinations, will possibly misinterpret the same statement, ideas or words”.

While acknowledging this observation to an extent, it is crucial to recognize the pitfalls of adopting a defeatist mentality in communication strategy. Embracing this line of thought entirely risks stifling ingenuity in communication approaches. There are inherent challenges with the notion that everyone must be targeted with a singular message.

Firstly, the assumption that the best way to communicate is to target everybody oversimplifies the complexities of the modern information landscape. In the era of web 2.0, where audiences are hypersensitive and hyperactive, attempting to reach everyone with a uniform message is unrealistic and unproductive. The art and science of message engineering focus on strategically targeting critical stakeholders who possess the power to influence or bring about the desired change, behavior, or objective. The quickest path to communication failure is attempting to please everybody or, conversely, not pleasing anybody. Similarly, the fastest way to failure is trying to communicate to everybody.

Secondly, the observation suggests a resignation to the idea that communication becomes futile if individuals have already formed biases. It implies that there’s no need for an organization or a leader to communicate with certain groups because they may not be receptive due to their pre-existing biases. However, the reality is that every audience comes with its set of biases. When communicating with an audience, strategic communicators confront cognitive dissonance – the resistance to inconvenient truths that challenge the comfort zone.

The job of a strategic communication expert extends beyond merely sending messages; it involves helping the target audience overcome the cognitive dissonance preventing the assimilation of new ideas. The onus is on strategic communicators to ensure that their messages resonate with their target audience, navigating the delicate balance between acceptance and rejection.

Effective communication is not about reaching everyone; it is about provoking the desired actions or reactions from critical stakeholders crucial to the organization’s (be it business or government) objectives. In a world where information overload is the norm and attention is a precious commodity, strategic thinking in communication becomes imperative. The challenge is not to dilute messages to cater to every possible interpretation but to craft messages with precision, aiming for the bull’s eye – the critical stakeholders who can drive the intended outcomes.

Strategic communicators must be adept at understanding the unique dynamics of their target audience, recognizing existing biases, and tailoring messages to resonate with the values and perspectives of those who wield influence. The effectiveness of communication lies not in its universality but in its ability to strike chords with those who matter most in the journey toward achieving organizational goals.

In conclusion, the evolving landscape of communication demands a departure from the notion that reaching everyone is the ultimate goal. Instead, the focus should be on hitting the bull’s eye – reaching the right audience with the right message at the right time. Strategic thinking in communication is about precision, understanding, and resonance. It is the strategic communicator’s responsibility to navigate the intricate dance of biases and perceptions, ensuring that the intended message not only reaches its destination but leaves a lasting impact.

Ishola, N. Ayodele is a strategic communication expert who specializes in ‘message Engineering’. He helps Organizations, Brands and Leaders Communicate in a way that yields the desired outcome. He can be reached via [email protected] or +2348077932282.


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