‘Inform’ is the first element of the IAP2 Spectrum, but it is not a ‘default position’ and will not ‘simply happen’.
Your communications strategy needs to provide transparent, high quality and accessible information to those affected by or interested in the government’s decisions (Principle 2).
Fulfilling the ‘inform’ element in the Spectrum can be achieved by:
Is there a good reason to sacrifice deeper engagement (consult, involve, etc) for a communications strategy?
- Understand why you can’t do more than informing and be ready to explain this to your audience, if asked.
- Identify future opportunities for deeper engagement and be flexible enough to adjust the strategy and engage the public in a more inclusive way.
What do you want to achieve through your communications strategy?
Be clear on these goals and share them with the public.
Getting your message out to the right groups is fundamental to your success.
- Identify the right groups (affected by and interested in the topic)
- Develop profiles on them
- Understand their traits, motivations and skills
This will help you choose the most effective ways to communicate with the audience.
Your messages are closely tied to your goals. They deliver important information about the issue and compel the targeted audience to think, feel, or act.
- show the importance, urgency or magnitude of the issue
- highlight the relevance of the issue
- be tied to specific audience values, beliefs, or interests of the audience
- reflect an understanding of what would motivate the audience to think, feel, or act
- be culturally relevant and sensitive
- be memorable and have a lasting impact on the audience
Communications channels carry the messages to the target audiences. They should be creative, relevant and engaging to your target audience to maximise reach and impact.
Channels take many forms:
- traditional media
- social media
Groups, organisations, or businesses may assist you in reaching your goal by providing funds, expertise, support, or other resources.
Local councils, community leaders, NGOs, businesses and community groups could be partnered with to drive your message further.
The practical rollout of the communication strategy should occur systematically, along a clear timeline with appropriate staffing and support in place.
Your agency’s corporate communications team might be able to assist with developing and implementing your communication strategy.
- Assess the progress and effectiveness in implementing your communications strategy at various points throughout its course.
- Determine strengths and weaknesses, identify obstacles, and create and implement new approaches for success.
- Be ready to change direction at any point, if required.
A High-quality communication strategy PDF fact sheet (PDF99KB) is available for download.