Every Lodge and Chapter must develop an effective communication plan in order to promote and carry out its program. To do that, we first need an accurate definition of communication itself:
Communication is the imparting or exchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, written, etc. Some keys to effective communication are:
Use of Resources
Why do we communicate? Most of us would say “To share ideas.” Sometimes we also communicate to diffuse conflict, to motivate, organize, or top lead others. And sometimes we might just have a good joke to share.
COMMUNICATION: WHO & HOW
Who does a Lodge need to communicate with?
- Select groups (Ordeal, Brotherhood candidates, etc)
- Key Three
- Scoutmasters and Troops
- Camping Committee
- Section, Region and National leadership
- News media
How can a Lodge communicate?
- Direct mail
- At regular Lodge and Chapter meetings
- Phone Trees
Who in the Lodge is responsible for communication?
- Lodge Chief and Officers
- Vice-Chief of Publications
- Committee Chairmen
FIVE THINGS TO CONSIDER IN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
- The initiator. Have a clear message and deliver it concisely. Think through what you are saying or writing; ask others to listen to your ideas and give you suggestions about how you can improve or clarify your message.
- The audience. If you know who you are communicating with at a lodge event, through your newsletter, or through a video presentation, you will not waste time communicating old or uninteresting information.
- Available media. Different resources can drastically effect what is being communicated and different audiences can react better to certain forms of communication. For example, Scoutmasters may be easier to influence through district meetings and council newsletters, while Arrowmen are easier to influence at a Chapter meeting, over the phone, or in person.
- Tone or attitude. As a communicator, do the “Five C”s”, do your best to appear clam, confident, compassionate, collected, and capable. Your audience will trust you and more easily accept what you are saying. If you appear distant and nervous, your audience will have a hard time trusting you and you will have a harder time getting your point across.
- Point or focus. The clarity, thoroughness, and timeliness of your message all have an impact on how it is perceived. Be sure to include participant’s points in your talk. It helps them to feel included.