As we gear up for a busy autumn, with election season looming and new legislative efforts on the horizon, it seems a good a time as any to take stock of some of our favorite, enduring strategic communication recommendations from the past year or so.

It’s three Flashcards in one!

First, communications researcher and advisor Anat Shenker-Osorio reminds us to show our true colors, saying what we really stand for—confidently and consistently—and not just because she says so, but because it’s a strategy empirically tested to fire up our base and bring the so-called “middle” our way.

Next up: Resource Media’s visual storytelling guide is a must-read in today’s digital media landscape. You can’t do social without mastering the art and science of putting photos to optimal use.

And, finally, what are six principles that can make your message “go viral”? Put a kitten on it, right? Well, that’s one way. But Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger goes beyond cute, fuzzy animals and cracks the code on contagious content.

Messaging Basics to Live By

Your True Colors (Don’t be afraid to let them show). Trying to please everybody? Retreating to the “middle”? Swaying with the polls? All quick ways to water down your message and convince NO ONE. Better to stick to your guns and say what you stand for.

Let’s Get Visual: A pocket guide to powerful storytelling with images. Pictures evoke emotion, faster and in ways that words alone cannot. Plus, they’re sharable!

Are You Contagious…Enough? Six principles of viral messages. Does your message give people social currency (a.k.a. bragging rights)? Is it worthy of imitation? Are there triggers that will crop up naturally? Is it emotional, a story we want to retell? Is it something useful to share with friends?

August 13, 2014