How ‘presearch’ helps ensure the relevance and reach of your conference messages.
Achieving a balance between what senior leaders want to talk about and what their people want to find out about is a discussion that all too rarely takes place. That’s a missed opportunity for all forms of communication, especially in the lead up to an annual interactive conference, roadshow or town hall. You can easily avoid this, with some simple advance research, or ‘presearch’.
How do you maximise the relevance of your message?
The question you need to answer to maximise the relevance of your messages, help join up the dots for people, or even avoid a total mismatch, is ‘what are the hot topics of discussion in your team?’ or ‘what’s the word on the street?’ And there’s no need to ask everyone, just a representative sample.
Internal social media tools make it possible to quickly capture high level feedback. But to get deeper insights, you need to be asking more probing questions through some sort of sounding boards. Experience tells us that people are more likely to speak candidly when talking to an independent third party. We are certainly seeing an increasing demand for this service.
We conducted presearch of this nature recently, in the run-up to a client’s leadership event. Through this, we identified the top five topics participants wanted to find out about, then found that none of them were covered in the draft agenda. A complete disconnect.
Remember to feed back your research findings
However you conduct your research, it is important to play back the results as early as possible to leaders, speakers and content creators alike. This will help them to shape, align and potentially even fully inform their messages.
Without this research, communicators and conference presenters might be sitting in dark windowless rooms, having dark windowless thoughts about what to cover, or creating solutions that participants do not have a problem for!
The impact of presearch
The outcomes of your presearch can shine a new light on proceedings. Speakers can be genuinely more ‘tuned in’, authentically position their content as meeting the needs of participants, and use examples in their presentations that are relevant to their audience. Although your core messages might stay the same, especially in the case of regional road shows, there will be more ways to finesse elements of your content to meet local needs.
Investing in ‘presearch’ can really pay dividends for the business, its communicators, speakers and the colleagues they seek to inspire. Miss the opportunity, and you run the risk that your colleagues will be quietly uttering the question ‘what are you talking about?’