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How to influence decision makers to support more of your strategies

01 Jun, 2020 PR management, Proving PR value

One of the crucial tests for a communicator is how to win the approval of organizational decision makers for high-level recommended strategies, whether in the communication field or more general management. How to influence decision makers to support more of your strategies

 

 

A bullet proof way to present a strategy to top decision makers is to work to the following formula that Jim Lukaszewski, one of the most experienced US PR consultants says is proven in use.

A persuasive formula for winning executive approval of your strategies

Prepare, and if necessary, present, a document with the following format:

  • Situation. A brief description of the nature of the issue, problem or situation that requires decision, action or study.
  • Goal. A clear, concise statement of the task to be accomplished, or the target to be reached, and why.
  • Analysis/assumptions. A brief description of what the situation means, its implications and the assumptions central to the analysis. Managers always need to know why, but not in great detail.
  • Options. Always provide at least three response options for the situation as presented and analyzed – preferably four options to limit the number of times a middle option may be chosen merely on the basis that it is the middle ground. If there is only one recommendation, which is questioned, it will most likely die and the discussion will move out of your control. The ‘do nothing’ option should be included in every strategy. The optimal choice should be recommended and the fallback recommendations should be supportable. Be prepared to do something in between the things that have been recommended.
  • Recommendation. The recommendation is obviously based on the line of action that has the strongest case. At the same time, be prepared to explain the reasoning behind the recommended action with an analysis of each of the other options.
  • Unintended consequences. These are the reactions or circumstances that could arise from suggested options or by doing nothing. Inadequate provision for consequences (risk management) can sabotage an otherwise useful strategy

This is a structured approach leading to productive, focused planning. If you use it, you will be able to put robust recommendations for important strategies for decision making at the highest level.

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash.

About Kim Harrison – author, editor and content curator

Kim Harrison, Founder and Principal of Cutting Edge PR, loves sharing actionable ideas and information about professional communication and business management. He has wide experience as a corporate affairs manager, consultant, author, lecturer, and CEO of a non-profit organization. Kim is a Fellow and former national board member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, and he ran his State’s professional development program for 7 years, helping many practitioners to strengthen their communication skills. People from 115 countries benefit from the practical knowledge shared in his monthly newsletter and in his books available from cuttingedgepr.com.

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