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18 Mar 2020

A Communication Formula To Help You Communicate in Crisis

No one could have scripted the extent to which COVID-19 would overtake the globe. But every day, we do script how we communicate in all kinds of settings. Chances are you have received many electronic communications with messages that create an array of emotions. A formula I created for all communication moments–the IAP Formula–can be especially helpful now as you have many different messages to deliver to audiences who may need some extra attention and empathy.

Each letter of the Formula is co-equal; the Intent line guides the roadmap.
I  =  Intent
A = Audience Analysis
P = Powerful Performance

Intent
: This part of the Formula is always about you. What is your goal in any particular communication endeavor? Mode of delivery could be e-mail, phone call, or digital face-to-face meeting. Create a short intent line built around a strong action verb.

Audience Analysis
: Thorough audience analysis will help accomplish your intent line. What are the details you have about your audience? One or many. How do they need to perceive and receive the information? What will resonate with your particular audience? Important to gather as much information as you can in order to choreograph how you will deliver your message.

Powerful Performance: This is your choreography–either in writing, vocally, visually, or a combination of delivery methods. Remember this part of the Formula is always about your audience. That’s why strong audience analysis is key. The more you know about the audience, the better you can craft the message to accomplish your intent with this particular audience. For example, if you have a “just the facts, please” kind of group, avoid flowery language or a long lead-in. For an audience needing a little warming up, make time to share a story to launch or find a way to build rapport before you go in with crucial information.

The COVID-19 outbreak has been labeled a global pandemic. We will come out on the other side a stronger world, nation, city, community. Use the IAP Formula to create intentional and authentic communication moments in the most efficient way possible. Because time is definitely precious. For a host of ways to use the IAP Formula in your life, check out my blog for focused advice. For more details about the IAP Formula itself, check out Communicate That! book.

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