Message Selection

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Planning Messages – Strategic Communication Plan – It all starts with planning. And in order to make sure it is heard, you need to:
    • analyzethe situation
    • define purpose
    • profile your audience
    • gather information
    • determine audience needs
    • select the medium (oral, written, visual or electronic)
    • organize the information for the selected medium
    • outline the content
    • sequence the message
    • define the main idea
    • classify your message according to its type, anticipated reaction and means of communication.
  • Audience Profiling – Making sure you understand who is your audience and what are their anticipations and backgrounds. Whenever you are prepared and whenever you have done Audience Profiling you are gaining insight on how to adjust your messages which in turn leads to better and more efficient communication.
  • Primary & Secondary Messages – Pay attention to the types of messages you are delivering – what are primary messages, – what are secondary messages? You should try to have no more then 3-4 primary messages in any single communication instance and then you build a good story with good arguments via secondary messages – that all help you make key points and make sure those are remembered and understood better.
  • About the language – Use language wisely, so as to avoid cliches, jargons, slang, language of hatred, euphemisms, and doublespeak. Try to speak with as simple and commonly spoken sentences as possible.
  • General principles for preparing messages for work/business – Just like in any other form of communication, here you focus on your audience. Adopt the “You” attitude. Keep in mind:
    • Business etiquette: Courtesy, Diplomacy, Promptness
    • Emphasise the positive (i.e. high-calorie vs high-energy)
    • Use bias-free language (age, gender, disability, race, etc)
    • Control style and tone (conversational tone, plain language)
    • Compose carefully (strong and clear words, effective sentences, coherent paragraphing)
    • Use technology (experiment and select best templates)
    • Aid with visuals as and if they simplify the message (Photo, Video, Bar Chart, Pie Chart, Line Graph, Actual Object, etc)
  • AIDA Model – stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. AIDA is widely used in marketing, but not only. This approach to structuring your messages may help you in various circumstances and may be an easy tool to use when trying to ensure patient engagement.
  • YOU Attitude – Approach to ensure we think of the messages from the perspective of the receiver and ensure we adjust our communication accordingly.
  • Patience, Acceptance and Tolerance – These are the pillars for building proper communication with the people who may be coming from vary different backgrounds. Think of the example of how a Straight-Line-Society judges Triangles appearing in the society – apply this metaphorical example to your everyday interactions and think of areas where you yourself may be considered a Triangle.
  • Strategic Communication Plan – The process which consists of the following steps:
    • Defining the list of 10 Top/Key messages that you would like to convey
    • Profiling Your Audience
    • Select Communication Channel(s)
    • Plan for the Number of Interactions
    • Allocating Primary Messages into each Interaction

Team Task 

Each team is required to prepare a brief presentation with the following slides:

  1. Perception Trap Examples: Select any of the 3 perception traps covered in this course and provide an example for each
  2. Responding to Praise: How would you, as a doctor react to such a message of pray from the patient. Anything that you can think of when replying to such praise?
    • Thank you so much Ms. Jesudason… I wish there were many doctors like you out there… Many thanks indeed… Should I then book a visit 3 months from now for the followup check?..
  3. Strategic Communication Plan: You were recently appointed in your clinic as Head of Patient Communication Department. Your role is to ensure the doctors aim for best communication practices with patients.
    • Think of a Strategic Communication Plan – what are the Top 10 most important messages that you would like to share with your colleagues? – Please ensure all the team members are participating in coming up with such list.
    • Which Communication Channels would you use for each Interaction and how many Interactions you think you’ll need to convey all 10 messages?

Please ensure maximum time of 10 minutes we will have for each team so allocated the time wisely. This time no additional time will be provided.

Please also ensure that the speakers for this task to be different from the one we did before. So perhaps if you already spoke on the previous task, now you can let other members present too.

IMPORTANT: Just because someone’s name is on the Team List does NOT mean they contributed to this task. When you will be preparing your presentation/slides, on the TITLE SLIDE please add ONLY the names of those students who REALLY participated in the preparation of the task.

Many thanks and looking forward to interesting discussion session with you!