The 3 ‘P’s of communication (2009)

Here’s a little tool I use sometimes when working on various communication projects. Three things to consider before you dive into the work: People, Platform and the Product.

PEOPLE. This is basic stuff, but it is just a reminder to me to be sure and consider who the audience is. It is the convention speaker giving a speech after a long-lunch – know who the PEOPLE are in front of you, what they are about and what their motivation is. Who are the group(s) of people that I am targeting? Are they friends, professionals, college grads, high school students, PR professionals, military? Young, old, male, female? The audience is not just demographics, but it is also the circumstances they are in. Is this a group that is starting or finishing a project together? Is there some kind of relationship between all of them? Do they want to hear your message or are they being forced to hear your message? Every little piece of information you can gather before moving on to the next step can only help.

PLATFORM. The platform is deciding which medium is best suited for communicating the message to the PEOPLE. Video, Audio, Article, Email, Press release, presentation. By having a good understanding about the PEOPLE, you’ll be able to help narrow down your PLATFORM.

PRODUCT. Whatever PLATFORM you choose, ensure that the PRODUCT is of high quality, and is suitable and appropriate for the PEOPLE. We all have our comfort zones and we might naturally migrate towards certain products that we are more comfortable with. I know many of my strengths and weaknesses, but I try to not let that automatically narrow my PRODUCT choices. If I think a certain PRODUCT is the best solution and it is in an area I’m not strong in, that’s when I seek out some help.

It is not the solution for every communication plan, but just an easy thing to remember that may help trigger some thought before you jump into a project.

Mike Nicholson

I've spent my career working in a variety of Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Public Affairs, Information Operations, and Executive Outreach positions. With a history of planning, preparing, executing, and assessing communication strategies in the U.S. and abroad, I use this site to write, think and share lessons learned on organizational communications.

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