“Begin with the end in mind” is Habit 2 of Dr. Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It talks about visualizing the end before you start your journey to ‘create’ or do something. This rule can also hold true when applied to planning any strategic or marketing communications initiative. It is prudent in these cases, to think of the end objective and what you want your audience to Know, Feel or Do.
The ‘Know. Feel. Do.’ approach is as simple as it is useful and effective to help plan, structure, and execute on pretty much any type of communications program. Our team has successfully used it to plan marketing campaigns, change management, strategic, and brand communications, and even employer branding campaigns.
Like any strategic initiative, you will need to have some research and understanding of your audience to help you use this framework effectively. Now, let’s dive a little deeper and understand this framework.
Knowledge or information appeals to the left brain, which processes linear, logical, orderly thinking. In this step, you first need to think about, “What does the audience already know?”, before you move to answer “What’s the one thing I want the audience to know, understand, learn, or question?”
The tendency when crafting the communication is to overload the message with too much information. You must resist that urge and focus on just 1 (ideal) to 3 (if you must) key message(s).
Your audience might already know or might not care for the extra information you are giving them. When planning a communication campaign or output, the sharper you focus your message the better. The ‘Know’ stage, if done diligently, can help you do this.
This aspect of the framework addresses the right brain which processes emotions, feelings, passions, etc. Most often in a communication strategy, we forget that we are addressing humans with emotions. They may be in a particular state of mind when they come across your communication, and may already feel a certain way about the product, service, or initiative. So, you need to first think about, “What does the audience currently feel about my product, service, idea, policy, or program?“, before your move to answer, How do I want them to feel after I tell them?”
It helps to spend time thinking about what emotions you want to evoke, because, you are more likely to get a better result for Do or the action you need them to take. The time of the day, the format of the message and tonality, will all help to bring this out, but this is a topic for another blog.
If we need our audience to take any action, we must mention it explicitly, or they might end up assuming what they need to do. Again, only if we are aware of the action(s) they are taking before they receive our communication, it will help a great deal in planning, “What action you want the audience to take after they receive your communication?”
This step focuses on the immediate change in action or perspective you seek from your audience after they see the communication. Restrict your action to just 1 (ideal) or 2 (if you must) actions, to ensure your audience understands and stays engaged.
Consider this scenario, you need to create a communication strategy to inform your field sales team that they will need to sign in to an application on their mobile phone which geotags their location to check if they are visiting client locations.
Here is what the ‘Know. Feel. Do.’ answers would look like, for the communication:
Know – What is it you want them to know?
– Why the change is needed in the business?
– What is changing?
– How this change affects them as individuals?
Feel – What do I want them to feel?
– Acknowledge their feelings (Angry, Happy, disgruntled etc.) about the change.
– Do you want them to feel – happy, supportive, engaged?
Do: What action do I want them to take?
– Download the App?
– Share feedback?
If you need help to create a communication strategy and/or would like to learn how to use the ‘Know. Feel. Do.’ approach in an effective way, get in touch with us.
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