checking phone for message frame

 

The push for transparency means that employees are receiving information that is difficult for them to understand. How can you simplify complex information so employees can grasp it?

One strategy is to create a message frame: 15-20 words that summarize the most important point. Politicians are skilled at using frames to talk about complex issues—that's why they call it "staying on message."

Here are three questions that will help you develop a message frame:

One What do employees want to know?
Consider your target audience. Why will employees care about this information? How might they react? The answers can help you understand what employees are interested in.
 
Two What is your objective?
An objective describes the result you want from communication. When dealing with complex information, this can be hard to summarize. The best practice for a message frame is to focus on the one thing employees need to know or do.
 
Three What's the news?
To really get to the point, ask the classic question: What's in it for employees? This key part of the message frame captures the big idea that may be buried in the details of your information.
 
After you have created your message frame, you can use it in many ways:
  • The subject line of an email
  • A headline and subhead for an intranet article
  • An "elevator speech" (15 words or less)
  • An "escalator speech" (10 words or less, since escalator rides are shorter)
  • A "tweet" on Twitter (limit of 140 characters)
Example

Our complicated information
In addition to the company-paid life insurance plan, which automatically provides coverage of one and a half times your annual salary, the company now offers a voluntary group life insurance plan. This gives employees the opportunity to purchase additional life insurance at group rates, which are cheaper than what employees would pay with individual policies.

Our message frame
New group life insurance lets you purchase additional coverage at cheaper rates.

 

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