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Communicate Often

Updated: Sep 30, 2023


Do you want build trust with a specific audience you’ve had trouble reaching? Do you need to recover from a breach in trust?


Communication is the key—and don’t be too shy about overdoing it, especially if you’ve already defined your mission, priorities and values. (If not, start there.)


By far, my experience in communications and politics has demonstrated how organizations that don’t communicate often enough end up operating in a void of trust. Sometimes, they can get away with it. But they leave themselves vulnerable to others driving a narrative for them and about them, without their consent. Then they’re hampered when they try to correct misinformation. And they face existential risk when sentiment swings too far the wrong way.


Existential risk looks different to different types of organizations, but none are immune from it. For businesses, existential risk means lost profits and the downward slope toward going out of business or having to sell, losing their brand and mission along the way.


People sometimes believe public agencies (governments) can’t, by nature, face an existential risk because they can’t go out of business. The belief is less prevalent now than it was a decade ago when institutions were more stable across the board. But governments face existential risk when the people decide the government no longer represents them adequately. Democracies have safer ways of dealing with the dissent than autocratic systems do, but any amount of pressure can disrupt services, funding and operational integrity to the institution in question.


Better, then, to keep people informed than to watch them rise up in anger. Good information shared generously allows communities to move forward together.


What does it look like to communicate often?


In part, it is allowing yourself to be repetitive. Adults don’t love repeating ourselves, generally speaking, so communication professionals often have to overcome a built-in bias against "saying what you’ve already said." Reality shows us that repetition is a necessary component in learning and remembering what we’ve learned.


Here's an example of a typical cycle:


  • Tell your audience what you’re going to do.

  • Talk to your audience about how you’re doing it and how it’s going along the way.

  • Share with your audience what you just did and how you did it.

  • Communicate the pivots when they happen: Tell them why you decided to pivot and what will change.

  • Tell your audience about the results.

  • Remind them what you did.

  • Repeat.


Feels like a slog? In a way, it is. But the opportunities to bring people along can save you hours, days or years of time later as you try to “justify” what just happened and why.


Now, let’s talk more specifically about how to define “often” because this will vary depending on the size, scope and complexity of an organization.


  • The pace of your communications (i.e. how often to post on LinkedIn) is less important than leaning in at important moments.

  • Whenever possible, anticipate what your audience needs to hear. This can get you ahead of the chatter.

  • Leverage your owned media (websites, newsletters) to serve as the primary venue through which you share information, and use earned and shared media (news outlets, social platforms) to augment your reach and credibility.


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Looking for help defining the right pace for your communications? Karapace helps clients build content plans to leverage their owned assets and increase their visibility. Reach out to schedule a quick consultation at the form below.

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