Before the Message

Learn how to build a strategic communication plan that helps others connect to your vision for change.

At its best, communication serves to unite people from various backgrounds and perspectives around a shared vision. Yet we often start crafting our key messages without a clear idea of who we are communicating with, what matters to them, or how we want them to make change with us. This approach can make our messages fall flat and leave us feeling disconnected instead.

To make the most of our efforts, it helps to take some time before putting messages to paper to clarify our purpose and current understanding of those we most need to reach.

In this 90-minute interactive event, you will work through the process of building a strategic communication plan that centers your goals and audience(s) with step-by-step support from a COMPASS facilitator. You will articulate your reason for communicating, identify your key audiences and their motivations, and brainstorm where and how to reach them.

When we lead with connection and mutual understanding, we can pave the way for collective action that leads to equitable, lasting change.

Please note this is not a workshop. All activities are independent. While we welcome and encourage questions and discussions, you will not be expected to unmute or turn on your camera at any point. Due to the progression of materials presented, we cannot admit participants who are more than 15 minutes late.

This session will be recorded (absent any technical difficulties) and will be emailed to registered participants and accessible on our website a few days after the event.

Who could benefit from this workshop?

Given our mission at COMPASS, the majority of participants who have participated in our events have been professional researchers, scientists, and science users whose work focuses on the environment, and many of our examples draw from this work. However, this event is open to anyone who would like to build a more intentional communication plan.

You do not need to have worked with COMPASS previously in order to attend this event, but we think it pairs nicely with our Introduction to Strategic Science Communication where participants learn about message crafting using the Message Box. Please see our event page to check out our Introduction to Strategic Science Communication workshops.


The workshop will be held on the video conferencing platform Zoom. If you are unfamiliar with the platform, this one-minute video explains how to join a meeting. You will need a webcam, microphone, and stable internet connection. Recommended upload/download speed is 5Mbps/5Mbps. Test your internet speed here by clicking “run speed test.”


Price: Free


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