In articles 1 & 2 we addressed Territorial Markers and WIIFM. In this article, we address our trademark approach to effective advocacy which was developed based on the foundational principle that the very best people to speak FOR an industry are the people working IN the industry.
This model was developed, and has been fine-tuned, using practical, real world business experience and effective communication strategies. The 3C’s model has been proven to help clients develop increased skills, along with improved confidence, and have their message listened to and acted upon by government.
CLARITY: it is much more than important, it is vital, to gain crystal-clear clarity on your core message. Fuzzy messaging gets, at best, fuzzy support. At worst, a message lacking clarity is dismissed and gets no support whatsoever. The Grassroots team provides key insights for key message development when in meetings with Ministers, MP’s and Staffers. You know your issues, concerns and key priorities. You cannot presume that they do. Communicate clearly, crisply and concisely.
CONSISTENCY: the next core concept, one to avoid like the plague, is mixed messaging. Each spokesperson must broadly present the exact same message as that being articulated by other stakeholders of your industry. Yes, there may well be certain style differences in delivery, but if your core content, your core message, lacks consistency with the content and core message delivered by others, there will be confusion. Confusion makes saying NO a far safer option, and cooperation becomes highly unlikely. Put aside any self-interest bias and agree on the bigger issues, the main purpose, in advance of any meeting you attend.
COLLABORATION: this was described in some detail in the WIIFM article and deserves repeating here. Avoid any tendency to ‘compete for victory’ – ‘I Win You Lose’ – and focus instead on collaboration: ‘Win-Win.’ Instead of pitching to the government take the stance of being a partner with the government.
Another collaboration element involves gaining leverage using a collaborative coalition. Your issues can often easily connect to identical issues, or remarkably similar issues, of other businesses. We have directly experienced improved success for one client, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, by aligning with another client, Spirits Canada, which depends on the OFA for manufacturing supply. The more alliances in the coalition the greater the leverage. Simple idea, solid impact.
The principles behind Clarity – Consistency – Collaboration are key to communication effectiveness and will surely result, immediately or eventually, in more successful advocacy.
Next time, we will put a big bow around this series addressing Purpose, Mission, Vision.
Sr. Communications Specialist
Ray is an expert on leadership development, impactful communication and strategic coaching. In addition to his years as a serial entrepreneur, Ray’s experience includes life insurance, reinsurance, being a faculty member trainer at Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Keynote Speaker and Executive Coach to businesses small and large. He has a straightforward, no-nonsense style heavily influenced by Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People & The 8th Habit. Ray brings an experienced, yet innovative approach to performance improvement, team-building and change management.