March 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm #177449
The Federal Communicators Network just wrapped up its first Lunch-and-Learn seminar of 2013, “Successful Campaigns in Lean Times,” presented by Joe Flood of the National Weather Service’s Weather-Ready Nation communications campaign.
As was expressed on the call, Joe did a great job and presented a lot of fodder for comm. folks to adapt to their own efforts and some excellent food for thought.
We’re keeping the conversation going over here now by focusing on an issue that seemed to be on several attendees minds: How do you get your agency to support its own campaigns?
That question came in the form of concerns such as:
- How do you motivate staff across the agency to want to communicate the campaign messages? (Joe’s answer: Make it easy — provide a schedule, give them prepared tweets, statements, and other tools, etc.)
- What about senior leaders’ buy-in? (Joe: Got to have it.)
- If you want to get info out quickly, what does the approval chain look like ? (Joe: Program leaders and comm. leaders in direct contact, so it’s very quick.)
There were also good questions about the challenges of pitching a campaign during sequestration, fighting negative press, and more.
So what do you want to know about campaigning in lean times? Post your questions below!
Joe has graciously offered to weigh in on this discussion here in GovLoop, and I’m sure many of you also have great insights to share on campaigning.
- Join the Federal Communicators Network by subscribing to our newsletter!
- Presentation slides (slideshare.com): Successful Campaigns in Lean Times: A Look at Turning the U.S. into a “Weather-Ready Nation.”
- Joe’s blog
For best practices, training, networking, and other opportunities in federal communications, join the Federal Communicators Network.
March 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm #177459
So I’ll start this off: Joe, you mentioned doing some internal comm. to prepare the whole NWS to take part in this. What sort of targeting is being done in local outreach to speak to specific communities and their concerns (hurricanes in South Florida vs. tornadoes in Kansas)?
March 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm #177457
Hi Dave! Glad to be a part of FCN.
During the call, I talked a lot about National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. This was our national-level campaign to encourage people to be prepared for severe weather. In addition, each state has its own severe weather preparedness week. These weeks are timed to coincide for when severe weather is most likely in that state – spring comes earlier in the south than it does up north. There also other types of awareness weeks throughout the year, from hurricanes to tsunamis.
March 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm #177455
Thanks, Joe! Glad to hear your balancing a national message with local needs — as you said during the event, you’ve got to push benefits, not processes/programs, and at a local level, citizens need to see that relevant benefit.
That brings me to another question (I’ll try not to dominate here): How are you incorporating storytelling into this effort? (Seems like that would have great use at a local level).
You touched on using stories as a means of connecting with people, and it struck me as a potentially powerful way to get folks to care about weather prep.
March 22, 2013 at 5:19 pm #177453
Storytelling is a great way to communicate information. We are story-telling animals. We relate to complicated issues through stories – that’s why the evening news so often uses “real stories” as a way to illustrate complicated topics like Medicare or Social Security. For the Weather-Ready Nation initiative, we try to use stories to like in this article on Wireless Emergency Alerts: Real Stories. It is the stories of real people whose lives were saved by a wireless emergency alert.
March 22, 2013 at 5:52 pm #177451
Very nice — clear delivery of the mission, right to citizens.
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