Strategic Communication

Strategic Messaging

Effective public relations requires your commitment to strategy, which demands from you a commitment to the long-term.

A communications strategy is like the blueprints for a house. There is a lot of work to be done before that blueprint can be crafted, and there is a lot of work to build that house once the plans are complete.

Does your organization have blueprints for your strategic communications plan? Or, are you applying tactics on an ad hoc basis, a press release here and an article there?

A strategy will help keep you and your communications team on track towards your organization’s goals.  Any question of whether to proceed with a particular objective or tactic will be answered by referring back to your strategic vision.

You should always adhere to the following mnemonic: right message, right audience, right way, right time. 

Crafting Your Message

Your organization likely has multiple messages to convey at any point in time. Your organization’s core messaging refers to the essential elements of your organization’s story and should imbue and guide all of your other communication.

While core messaging will often influence your public statements, social media posts, interviews, and public speaking engagements, it will often not be sufficient to meet the needs of a given situation.

You must remember in these situations that “it is not what is said, but what is heard,” that matters most. Any messaging in these circumstances should be crafted with your audience in mind.

Identifying Your Audience

Every organization has a constellation of audiences revolving around it: employees, shareholders, regulators, vendors, customers, donors, board members, etc.

Who are your key audiences and what do they need to hear from you?

Keep in mind your organization’s key audiences are likely to change based on circumstances. So, while your core messaging helps maintain your long-term strategy, your messaging must always take your audience into consideration.

Disseminating Your Message

What are the most effective ways to disseminate your messaging to each of your audiences, some of which will be internal, but most will be external?

a. Email
b. Social media
c. Website/blogs
d. Industry or mainstream media
e. CEO/Executive Director communications
f. Town hall meetings

Timing of Your Message

What are likely to be the critical times or dates around which your messaging needs to be disseminated and will you be prepared to communicate?

g. Holidays
h. Events or programming
i. Fundraising or sales deadlines
j. Breaking news relevant to your organization
k. Times of crisis

The Strategy Bullseye


The best way to envision your strategy is to use, what we call, the Strategy Bullseye. The bullseye illustrates three cycle durations that your strategy should consider.


Your organization’s vision or long-term goal should be viewed over a one to three-year period. Craft your strategy starting with the question: “What does success look like for your organization one, two, or three years from now?”


To achieve your long-term goals, you will need to plan around some mid-term objectives such as key foundational elements and dates: relationship development, content creation, important holidays, deadlines, events, or programs.

These objectives fall in the Mesocycle and typically fall within a 90 to 180-day period.


Lastly, there’s the Microcyle. The center of the bullseye represents short-term objectives that can be achieved in a 30 to 90-day period. Possessing the ability to respond quickly to changing circumstances like breaking news or a possible organizational crisis would also fall within the Microcycle since, by definition, these generally require immediate responses.

A sound PR, marketing, or communication strategy considers your various organizational needs or requirements, places them within the Strategy Bullseye framework, and ensures your organization and your team are prepared to maneuver through each of these phases successfully.

To learn how Orwell Grey can help your organization, please contact us.

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