By: Cathy Smith
IAP2 USA Board Member and Chair of the Communications Committee
Think back to Spring 2016. Where were you? Well, if you were an IAP2 USA board member, you were in a hotel conference room making a key decision – to develop a strategic communications plan for our community. We decided to “un-jargon” our own language to make it easy for our clients, participants and the community-at-large to grasp the benefits of quality involvement and to motivate all of us to continually enhance our skills.
Over the course of 2016, your Communications Committee led itself through a thorough planning process. We identified audiences and partners, evaluated our unique place in the marketplace of services and organizations, dove into the underlying concepts of what the organization needs to say now and into the future, and developed messaging that is clear and direct.
Our core message has two parts – both centered on the concept of “good” skills and outcomes:
“Pursuing the greater good: good decisions made together.”
In combination with the brand and its logo, this phrase positions IAP2 USA as a wise guide through a complex process. It defines how good decisions are made and enlarges the realm of possibilities for all that goodness. The phrase is meant to be flexible, so you’ll see it as a whole as well as its component parts in communications.
Once we created our foundation message, it was time to start building the visual framework to represent and communicate this messaging. You likely have already seen small sneak-peeks of this messaging in recent communications. The first unveiling of it was for this year’s 2017 North American Conference theme:
“Pursuing the greater good: P2 in a changing world.”
You’ll start seeing this “good” messaging in other resources.The most profound change you may have seen is the recent changes to the website. Our homepage now showcases “Good People”, “Building Good Skills”, and “A World of Good”. These updates visually represent some of the underlying meanings of “good” – internally consistent and transparent in its organization, so that people who visit us are put at ease from the moment they walk into our virtual doors. This look and feel of the homepage has been implemented across the entire site! Take a look! In the coming months you will also see changes to the blog.
We are now designing merchandise incorporating our new messaging! We are excited to include it into our new Ambassador Kits for trainers and outreach members from our staff and volunteers. Quick note – we are working on this now the kits will be available in September. If you are interested in being an IAP2 USA Ambassador in your region, let us know! Contact Amelia at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are an essential part of our community and you can help it be even stronger in your region.
We invite you to incorporate “good” messaging into your language. The more consistent we are as a community, the more we will help distinguish IAP2 USA as a trusted resource for our clients and the participants in their decisions.
We joined IAP2 USA because it is where we turn for good information and professional development. We know that public participation has the potential to solve a lot of problems. Now, it’s time to let everyone else know what good decisions and this organization are all about.
So, what’s in a “good” word? Well, everything. Join us.