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What Now? Communicating When Audiences are Still NOT OK


Whether it’s the COVID-19 pandemic that still haunts us, the Great Resignation echoing in our minds or an expected recession, we are not okay. As communicators, it’s key we know what our audiences are going through, how they’re dealing and how best to communicate to them.


Our Big Fry, Beth Clauss, developed and presented a webinar for IABC Colorado in September 2022, called “What Now? Communicating When Audiences are Still NOT OK.” With the holiday season in full swing, 2023 so close we can smell it and a myriad of other obstacles, we figured it was time to revisit the Big Fry’s wisdom. Let’s dive in.

Start with the Big Three. Beth talks in-depth about transparency, optimism and limitless possibility – the Big Three – as the roots of Small Potatoes and our communications strategies. Using these ideas as an anchor, communicators can then deploy their messages effectively to “bridge the gulf between themselves and their employees, customers, investors and other key audiences.”


Apply the Big Three to times of crisis. Especially with crisis comms, Beth notes how important transparency is. Audiences want honest and forthright communications. That’s not all, though. Beth also points out that optimism during times of crisis can clue communicators into what they need to own and what they’ve learned from a situation. Finally, limitless possibility can be tough to stick to in unsure times but using it as a catalyst for how to make an organization better for one’s stakeholders is a great starting point.


Stick to the Big Three during times of change. Over the last few years, communicators have earned their stripes in change communications. With every up and down, it’s communicators who help the world make sense of it all – even when nothing makes sense. During times of change, transparency can show the “why” and provide audiences with answers they desperately need. To tap into optimism during change, ask “How will this change address the ‘why’?” Finally, for any change, there is potential and possibility. Help employees understand the limitless possibilities the change will bring, while providing them with specific information on what to expect and when.


Spice up marketing with…you guessed it: the Big Three! No matter how you plan to promote your company, transparency is still the gold standard. Fun is encouraged; hyperbole is not. Transparency has its own ways of catching your audience’s eye. A great way to incorporate optimism into marketing is spotlighting how the audience contributed to the company’s success. Marketing communications thrive when we add in limitless possibility. It’s all about the future, right? Make it limitless for both the organization and the audience.

Transparency, optimism and limitless possibility are crucial to Small Potatoes, both as a company and as communicators. Now, it’s time to ask yourself how you can put the Big Three into play with your communications and your company.


For the full webinar and Beth’s wisdom, stories and jokes, watch “What Now? Communicating When Audiences are Still NOT OK” on YouTube.


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