I was helping an organization work on its marketing and outreach plan.  For one of our exercises, I asked the group to identify who should hear their message.  

They came up with a list that included such things as legislators, area employers, board members, community leaders, etc. A list that was way too broad to be effective.  It would have been easier to say “everyone.”

We started to talk about what they really meant.  It wasn’t all legislators; it was members of certain committees on the federal level and representatives from certain counties in the state.  Area employers meant the CEOs and human resource directors for employers in selected industries within a limited geography.  Community leaders meant the heads of a category of non-profits, etc.

Once the influencers were identified, it was much easier to get a grasp on how to influence them. You could see certain patterns, overlapping channels of communication and paths that organization leaders may cross with the people on the list.

When you are trying to make an impact, it is often better to go deep than to go broad.  Spend the time to identify the bulls eye. It’s not as easy to hit, but the results are much more on target.

— beth triplett


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