Friday, September 13, 2019

Earning Trust through Effective Group Communication

Communication can make or break a group’s dynamic. One miscommunication or mixed message and you’ll likely end up with some unhappy group members, or worse–lost faith in your organization’s leadership ability. That’s why it’s imperative that you’re thoughtful and intentional in the way you communicate with a group. Here are a few best practices for not only making your messages heard, but also earning your group’s trust.

Single Source of Truth
When you’re communicating to a group, you’re really communicating to a group of individuals, with individual habits, individual preferences, individual styles of communication. Which means there’s room for confusion if you’ve got multiple methods of message distribution. That’s why when it comes to group communications, it’s especially important to provide one single source of truth. Whether you’re sending an email newsletter, creating a news portal, or directing them to a specific landing page, it’s imperative that you choose one (yes, just one) and stick to it! 

Text Me (But Not Too Much)
Let’s face it: emails get lost in the shuffle, and you can’t always rely on people to check your news portal on their own time. That’s why it’s important to allow your group to opt-in for text notifications! (And just in case you needed more convincing…text has an over 95% read rate as compared to email’s 18%.) A few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Follow the FCC’s guides for SMS (AKA, the Golden Rules of texting: get customer consent, allow for easy opt-out, only text during daytime hours, etc.)
  • Be concise and consistent with your style. If you’re sending an article, consider sending a very brief article summary, a CTA to “read on”, and the link to access the article. Keep it short and sweet!

Make It Mobile
While your group is bound to have a lot of differences, there’s one thing you can pretty much guarantee: they’ll all have a smartphone. So if you want to connect with your group–no matter its purpose or goal–mobile is the way to go. Consider creating an app (a Progressive Web App is best) that can serve as that “single source of truth” we talked about earlier.  

While there’s no silver bullet for group communications, there is a valuable resource you always have on-call…yourself! When in doubt, ask yourself how you would like to be communicated with, and what an organization could do to earn your trust.