Communications Strategy: What Our Messages Must Accomplish (Summary of Mtg #2)

Here’s something most people don’t think about, but that affects all of our lives every day:

For the most part,
the everyday systems we all encounter
are rooted in suspicion and reactivity.

Think about it. Laws that are meant to keep you from messing up, which then enumerate the repercussions if you do. Human resource policies to accomplish the same thing in workplaces. Insurance systems, banking systems. Slogans and memes (“If you see something, say something…”)

It’s no wonder why, when we talk about Creating the Future’s mission, people get excited.

At Creating the Future, our mission is to help everyday you re-imagine the everyday systems you encounter, so that those systems are aimed at bringing out the best in you and everyone around you.

That is why, as a big step towards accomplishing that mission of re-imagining systems, Creating the Future is developing a Communications and Engagement strategy. AND it is why we are eager for you to add your insights to those conversations!

During our first Communications Strategy meeting, we talked a lot about the reason for engaging in the first place. Who will hear us when we are communicating? Who will be affected by whatever communications we create and promote, whether they are the intended audience or not? And then what do we want those communications pieces to make possible for the individuals who hear them? 

You can already tell from those questions that Catalytic Thinking is leading us to take a different approach than the norm of marketing strategy.

As we gathered for our second meeting, we looked at the list we created in our first conversation. For our mission to be accomplished, it became clear that we needed to work first on ensuring that people who want the same results as us feel encouraged to connect with us and to each other, to explore what is possible together. If we are successful, that level of connection will be one powerful result of this plan!

Using the Catalytic Thinking framework, we spent Meeting #2 identifying the conditions our communications would need to create, to lead to our ultimate success. The questions we asked were as follows:

In order for people to connect with us and with each other, to accomplish the sort of systems re-imagining at the heart of our mission – what would people need to know / feel / see / hear / believe / be assured of?

The following is a short summary of what our messages must accomplish. For those messages to accomplish our mission and help people connect to that mission (and to each other in furtherance of that mission), our messages must…

• Get people excited about the degree to which systems change is possible
• Show that anyone can create systems change by changing the questions they ask
• Provide a sense of hope during these turbulent times
• Acknowledge that scarcity is not the only way to see reality / that when people band together, we accomplish more
• Make clear that any efforts taken to further our mission will be co-designed and co-created together with them, side by side – that this is about all of us together
• Acknowledge that the work we are embarking upon is about connecting to things that are already happening in a variety of ways around the world right now
• Include, invite, honor, and value anyone who hears the message
• Help people see beyond money, to acknowledge the real resources that are all around us – buildings, cars, people’s wisdom…

To see more than this abridged version, check out the whole list at this link. And if you are in the mood to feel inspired, you can listen to the whole conversation, which was energizing in so many ways.

Next up:
At our meetings on December 11th and 12th, we will begin by determining if there are any other conditions our messages must create for people. From there, for each of the conditions we’ve noted (including the ones above), we will be asking…
• What would lead to that?
            • What will people need to see / hear / experience?
            • What would lead them to be excited, or feel invited, or etc. (the list above)?

From there, we will determine what WE need to do to provide that evidence to them, as well as what we will need to have in place, in order to do so. THOSE will be the actions at the heart of our plan.

In all this, we absolutely want your insights and perspectives to help shape this communications plan. So please join us, whether live in person, via Twitter, or by listening and sharing thoughts after the meeting. We hope to see you there!

Photo credit:
By Petar Milošević – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 

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