We all belong to GROUPS, which in most cases equate to "things my kid begged me to sign up for".
One of the most frustrating aspects to belonging to groups like performing ensembles, sports teams, Scouts, cheerleading, etc - the communications from the administrative leaders quickly add up and become impossible to track.
Well-intentioned group administrators are commonly volunteers. Band boosters, homeroom parents, den leaders, team-moms are all taking time out of their own busy scheduled to try to help the cause. This post in no way diminishes or belittles their efforts.
The keys to successfully communicating to large groups of people all begin with one critical point.
Understand, and always assume, that a percentage of the group's parents you are communicating with WILL NOT READ ANYTHING YOU SEND them, regardless of how well its constructed, organized, or written.
It is a reality that your constituants are busy people and struggle to get everything organized and in its place (as a working parent I can completely relate to this). I can also share with you that I lose my mind when the groups we belong to send ineffective, confusing, and sometimes conflicting info.
Here are 3 tips to ensure you group is communicating as clear as it can be to your stakeholders:
(1) Set up a schedule and make it stick
Science says it takes 21 days to make a new "habit" stick, but you can begin to create a desired behavior (your group to read emails from you on a specific day) in a lot less time.
In the heat of my daughter's marching band season, I know that I can expect an overview email every Monday and then a weekend schedule firm-up email on Thursday. I can set my watch by this, and while 2 emails a week might seem excessive, they both serve different purposes. Monday's email is longer, and much more detailed with upcoming events and announcements. Thursday's email is a breakdown of the weekend's schedule, block-by-block. Parents quickly latch onto this pattern, and when questions arise, the answer is "Refer to this week's email..."
Figure out a way to make your communications rhythmic, sticking to a predetermined format.Do whatever it takes to consistently deliver a message on that schedule and it will save time by not having to send out excessive and unformatted communications.
(2) Keep tight reigns on Quality Control
Would you like to completely annoy your constituents, and ensure that nobody knows what's going on? OF COURSE NOT. Sending messages that are shaky will be an immediate turnoff.
- Make sure ONE PERSON "owns" your communication, and the message comes from ONE SOURCE. Multiple people sending messages invites chaos, cross-conflict, and confusion.
- Proofing is super-important, as people quickly notice small typsos. :-)
- Adopt a template and format for your communications and make sure everything you send adheres to that style.
(3) Consider your reader, and design for them
For the most part, your readers will be reading your messages for informational updates. If your objective is to convey that information, then make those facts easy to access:
- Bullet points makes is easy to skim and digest
- HIGHLIGHT the key ideas
- Keep it tight, concise, and remember LESS IS MORE
If your group is looking for easier and more efficient ways to make money, you should review our $10,000 Blueprint, and learn how performing ensembles around the United States are raising MORE MONEy FASTER with FansRaise: