Three Top Communication Rules from Andrey Kulakov

Today, if you are organising an exhibition or a conference, or launching a project, it is not enough to just create a good product. For your audience to find out about it, communication should be an integral part of your strategy. Andrey Kulakov, Internews programme director in Ukraine and expert of our Communication online course [1], recommends making communication a key element from the very beginning of any project in planning any actions.

By completing the online course, you will learn about the main stages of a communication strategy and working with an audience. The lecture part of the course is 30-minutes long, and after completing a short test, you will receive a certificate. In the meantime, we bring you three practical tips from Andrey Kulakov.

1.   It is important to remember that the most important goal of communication is influencing the behaviour of your target audience. It is necessary to persuade those whom you are addressing to act in a certain way. But before this happens, work with the audience’s perceptions and expectations, i.e., at the first stage, we change the way people perceive and react to the world around them (their so-called attitudes) and later we move to the practical aspect. A great example is an election campaign. For a candidate to be elected, the team works on their image, pleasant presentation and creates a positive attitude towards him. This is necessary for the practical goal: it is precisely a positive attitude that can be the decisive factor at a certain time and place since people choose a candidate not just with their minds, but also with their hearts.

2.   Focus on values and trust, only then will you be able to build a long-term and honest campaign. Andrey Kulakov illustrates this with a very simple but striking example. For instance, you want to buy flowers, and many companies offer this product. But if you go beyond simple needs, you probably want these flowers to be grown without pesticides or the use of child labour. If a company fulfils these needs too, it is quite likely that you will not only become a regular client but also a fan of the product. Thus, to achieve the final stage of communication, you need to combine your values system with the values system of your target audience.

3.   To convey the necessary information to a wide audience, you need to contact the media. For your message to appear in the news, become a reason for an interview and be as accessible to an audience as possible, follow these rules:

· Help journalists do their job. Provide the media with an information reason, a real news story backed up with all the necessary information, facts, expert opinions, and background.

· Add emotions to your message, as this way you are sure to attract attention.

· Don’t dismiss simple and concise wording. Try using “super-phrases” – striking and emotional sentences, jokes, and metaphors.

You can get more tips and explanations of the various stages of a communication strategy by completing the Communication course on our website. In addition, you may be interested in our course on Advocacy with Anush Begloyan, Marketing with David Parrish and Proposal Writing with Magdalena Krasowska-Igras.

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