Risk Management for Marketing Communications | Serah Delaini | Skillshare

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Risk Management for Marketing Communications

teacher avatar Serah Delaini, Marketing & Communications Expert

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      Areas of Risk: Privacy & Regulatory Compliance


    • 4.

      Areas of Risk: Competition


    • 5.

      Areas of Risk: Specific Terms & Situations


    • 6.

      How To Approach: What To Focus On


    • 7.

      How To Approach: Narrative - Minimizing Your Risk


    • 8.

      How To Approach: Internal Training & Practice


    • 9.



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About This Class

Students will learn how to help protect their organization from risk related to external and internal communication. 

You will find out about the five most common things to look out for in marketing and sales material, how to approach risk management, and what trends to focus on today.  

No prior knowledge is needed to understand this topic. It is suitable for beginners to marketing communications. Experienced communications professionals will also benefit from the depth of class material. 

The class will be useful when you are creating content and managing communications campaigns, whether internal to your organization or meant for external audiences. You can use these skills when doing promotions, training, change management, marketing, and sales. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Serah Delaini

Marketing & Communications Expert


I have decades of experience in communications, from executive keynotes to video scripts to news articles, and I'm always learning new things. I'm here to teach you how to watch for risk factors in your external-facing communications that can harm the reputation or financial performance of your organization.

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1. Introduction: Have you ever seen an ad that makes a claim you don't believe? I certainly have. I'm Serah Delaini, founder and principal consultant at Blossom Marketing. And this is my class about risk management in marketing and sales communication. I have more than 30 years experience in communications, doing content strategy and writing and editing all kinds of material. You don't need to be experienced to get a lot out of this class. You are, you know that there's always something more to learn about protecting yourself and your organization from problems caused by inappropriate material. Beyond spelling, grammar, and punctuation. I believe the elements of great marketing communication include tome, flow, consistency, and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Balancing all these factors with your audience's needs is what makes brand or message effective and memorable in a good way. I'm eager to share with you the best practices that I've learned so that you can maximize your communication efforts and minimize risk to your organization. And along the way, why learn about risk management? Going to court can take significant financial and human resources that organizations can't always afford. Additionally, the value of your reputation with all your stakeholders and audiences is like a credit score. It takes time and consistent performance to build it up, but only a moment to tear it down. By avoiding foreseeable risks, you protect your organization and its reputation from harm now and in the future. If you're ready to learn, let's get started. 2. Class Project: Hi, welcome back. In this class, you'll find a series of lessons on communication risks and best practices. You can try out the techniques that I'll describe by following along with your own project. What's the project for this class? I'd like you to create or evaluate a piece of written or visual marketing content. This should be between two hundred and eight hundred words, although items outside this range can be used. Examples include a promotion or contest texts, a webpage or a blog post. A social media post could be a one pager on your service or product offering. Maybe a script for a video or a radio ad, or press release. There's lots of marketing communication projects that you could pick. Throughout this class, I'll teach you best practices to avoid common mistakes in word choices. This will help you create your own marketing material with more confidence in his accuracy and reliability. I'll be demonstrating these risk management principles and my own project. A two-page email attachment or handout about a new client service offering from my marketing agency. At Lhasa marketing, we've been doing more virtual events for clients lately. I'd like to showcase this work and let other clients know what they can expect from us on a similar project without exposing my company to unnecessary risk. So we need a document that we can hand out to clients about this service offering for virtual events. First, I'll talk about a concept or best practice, and then I'll use this document to show you what I mean. Please use your own project to practice these risk management principles. At the end, you'll have a piece of marketing material that follows best-practices intended to protect your organization from both legal risk and damage to your brand equity. You'll also have the skills to apply these best practices to a variety of material and an understanding of how to get help when needed. Here are some tips. Before you begin the class. Think of a piece of marketing or sales material they even use for your project. If you're creating a new item, make sure you have all the information needed to create that content. 3. Areas of Risk: Privacy & Regulatory Compliance: In this lesson, we'll cover areas of risk from privacy and regulatory compliance to advertise a law. As you can imagine, laws and regulations are different in each region. Some of the regulations with global impact include the GDPR, General Data Protection Regulation. And then there's the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCP. Yea. There are industry specific regulations like the Health Insurance, Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA. These laws apply to all kinds of organizations and individuals who may handle data, whether it's personally identifiable info, PII, like a name, address, or phone number, or if it could eventually be personally identifiable when put together with other datapoints. You can check for data handling practices throughout your organization. Is the information encrypted? How many copies are there? Is it deleted when no longer needed? You can learn more about privacy and data handling with continuing education opportunities such as the Certified Information Privacy professional or CIP study track. Then there's ad law. Had law means those legal requirements specifically for marketing and sales communication. They apply to promotions and contests, asked US tax law, whenever things are given away. These laws vary from country to country and they change often. So it's important to keep up on specifics for your region and type of work. Before 1977, for example, in the United States, it was illegal to advertise legal services. Now, an attorney can purchase a billboard and tell the world about their law firm and they deal. Finally, opinions and satire, or protected forms of speech where I'm located. This means that I can use quotes from customers in this material as long as they approve them. It's a good idea to be specific with your sources about where you plan to use this type of testimonial. Nine out of ten doctors agree, three out of four people surveyed said, we've all heard statistics like this. Try to make your statistic use as objectively true as possible and not misleading. Be clear with your audience and provide high-quality material that adheres to the spirit, as well as the letter of the law. For detailed questions about regulations, I recommend that you get access to a legal representative for professional advice. If you don't already have an attorney, many firms and legal aid groups offer pro bono or free advice for simple situations. Most mid-sized organizations. And we'll have someone you can check with about legal and regulatory requirements that affect your marketing communications projects. Now, let's turn to a few slides on these topics. As I mentioned earlier, you'll want to determine what privacy and data handling regulations apply in your region and area of practice. Many locations and industries also have specific laws around how you can advertise. So that affects your go-to-market materials and sales practices. Then there are voluntary indexes are metrics that your company may follow. Let's dig a little deeper into these regulations. The GDPR is not just about protecting the data of people in the EU and EEA. It also sets the standard for data handling around the world. This is because it impacts any organization that doesn't check the location of its customers and clients and may have EA residents in the mix. The California Consumer Privacy Act is another piece of relevant legislation around data handling. This one minds out several rights in that region of people whose data is being stored and used by any organization. Because your company or a non-profit may not restrict Californians from your customer list. These regulations are good to know and follow regardless of your location. Find out more about laws like the GDPR online. And make sure you adhere to all the best practices around data handling that you can find. It's important to protect personally identifiable information, PII, and anything that can be combined with other data to identify someone. I've posted some links in the resources at the end of this lesson. What is Ad Law? I'm sure there have been countless ways over the millennia for people to get justice. If a salesperson wasn't telling the truth, we're all vulnerable to making a bad deal. But sometimes a seller will be deliberately deceptive. Have you ever heard someone say that snake oil to mean something that was misrepresented during a transaction or didn't work as promised. In many regions, there are laws that specify how accurate an advertisement or other marketing piece has to be. The US Federal Trade Commission says material must be evidence-based. That's pretty specific language. Make sure your metrics have backup. I already mentioned that attorneys have only been able to advertise in the US since 1977. Similarly, health care, alcohol, gambling, and tobacco, have all seen restrictions on their communications come and go. We also have to comply with regional decency laws, which vary widely around the world. Other regulations mandate labeling standards for many items, from refrigerators to cars and clothing. There are special rules around giving step away to kids, which is why so many promotion say you have to be a certain age to enter. An interesting legally mandated program in the US is the national do not call registry. Telemarketing companies are supposed to remove anyone registered here from there to call lists. Finally, opinions and satire are specially protected forms of speech where I'm located. This means that I can use quotes from customers in my material as long as they approve them. It's a good idea to be clear with sources about where you are going to use this type of testimonial. And we've all seen statistics such as nine out of ten doctors agree. Three out of four people surveyed said, try to make these statistics as objectively true as possible and not misleading. Be clear with your audience and provide high-quality material that adheres to the spirit, as well as the letter of the law. Resources to learn more are listed here. I highly recommend studying data ethics and regulations as an ongoing topic if you are a communications professional. Now, let's turn to the Demo. In this demo portion, we're going to check my document for these three main criteria. One, what can I say that's accurate now, forward-looking material is okay if it is opinion as in a customer quote. Number two, statistical proof and references. And number three, is there any data collection or handling involved? Let's see, is that accurate now, this handout does have to be factual. What pieces here are subjective and not possible to be proven. Looking through, I see this says webinars will rapidly boost awareness. I'm not sure that I could prove that in a court of law. So I'm going to change that word to can. That's defensible. I provide related information to interested audiences through webinars that can rapidly boost awareness. Then I'm looking in here, insightful reporting and analysis. I think I can say I think customers would say that our reporting is insightful. And so I'm going to leave that went in. I think I can back that up. Over here. We're promising that client benefits include internal dialogue and agreement on an effective strategy. So I can't really promise that the client will come to agreement. I'm gonna take that part out. We can definitely deliver internal dialogue. And I can back that up. And then we go down here in company background, I say we have an unmatched team of contractors and vendors. Well, it is an unmatched team. It is unique and special. So I'm going to leave that in. That's something that's somewhat defensible. This team is not like any other team, so it is unmatched. Great. Let's move on to the next lesson. Here are the takeaways for this lesson. Laws around communication have existed for hundreds if not thousands of years. Keep up with existing and new regulations in your region and area of practice. Privacy and data handling regulations are complex. It's important to protect personally identifiable information, PII, and anything that can be combined with other data to personally identify someone, quotes and testimonials from other people, our opinion based and less vulnerable to outlaw claims. Questions to ask. Is your material accurate Now? Are there any statistics than it? And if so, where's the backup for them? Are we collecting data during this communication process? And finally, is it clear when a statement is a personal opinion or fiction or satire versus effect. 4. Areas of Risk: Competition: Hi, welcome back. In this lesson, we'll talk about extreme statements, product, service claims, and proof points. Are you competitive? I am. One of the most common things I see in marketing materials is an extreme statement. It's tempting to say your product or service is the best. We all want to be the most effective solution for our customers. But proving that can be pretty hard. I call this part of marketing walking the competitive line. Innovators often do pilot projects and proofs of concept to show that their solution works as promised before the customer invests in it. You can often find ways to demo your product or service in a way that highlights its strengths, just be 100% accurate in your language. Of course, as I mentioned in the previous lesson, if you have specific metrics that do prove a point, that's golden, you can use those metrics called proof points in your marketing materials with little to no risk exposure. That is, as long as you have materials and sources that back up your claims and you don't mind hanging onto those in case of legal discovery. Discovery is when you have to produce materials in support of her side of a lawsuit. Now, let's look at a few slides on the topic. Lesson for competition. As I mentioned, sometimes third-party opinions are the best proof point for your communications. Maybe you haven't got a measurement that shows the strengths of your product, service, or concept. If I go online to try to find the fastest Internet service provider in modem, I'm not likely to find the one by going to an ISP mona manufacturer's website. Even if I did locate an extreme statement like, we are the best internet service provider, how could I trust such a claim? Both of the article shown here were written by people who are not the manufacturer or service provider. The authors take special care to describe their methodologies so they can show how they came to their conclusions about who has Best. Plus it is only their opinion, not a statement of fact. Here's a look at a service provider's site content. You'll notice that there are very few promises on this page. There's a disclaimer that even has a hyperlink for more detail. Here's a link in the text saying that the speed described may not be available everywhere. And up here, check out these adjectives. Rather than say in the services reliable, which would imply a promise. The company says the home services you rely on, that's accurate. People do rely on their internet connections. The other adjectives in that sentence, convenient and easy to manage, our subjective and hard to prove or disprove. There are no statistics saying 90% of people surveyed found it convenient and easy to manage as that would require a backup source for that statement if wherever challenged. Most marketing communication will have somewhat round-about language for these reasons, get the best WiFi experience for you. Well, it's hard to say what experience is the best for any one person. So that's a pretty safe statement, isn't it? Disclaimers can be lengthy, as you see here. I'll just reiterate the importance of proof points here. This article about all birds shoes says they are referred to as the world's most comfortable shoes, but it doesn't say who made that statement. You'll notice the author uses some statistics that can be proven. And positive press coverage like this can be very compelling to customers and clients. If you send media outlets a pre-written, accurate article about your product or service, it helps them publish high-quality information about you. Make sure to include any meaningful statistics that you can. Case studies are a valuable way to tell your story without strong proof points. The more provable statistics you can use in both customer evidence and other marketing and sales material, the more trust you can earn with your audiences. So how do you handle competition? Extreme statements and proof points? Very carefully. Choose your words wisely and have more than one person review material before you publish it externally. Ask reviewers to pay attention to anything that seems extreme or subjective, and making sure that material is in a personal or third-party opinion or a customer quote. These examples all have unique circumstances where they're using extreme statements very carefully. Ibm SPSS is a leader, but not the market leader. Bell Canada says they're the absolute fastest internet. They probably are. And it sounds like they're not afraid to back that up in a court of law. The final example, landscape artist hinder his Robin really is that good and has the awards to prove it. Let's look at our projects and see if there's anything there that might be risky to include. This document does have a couple of extreme statements. Can you find them all? I see one here. Our staff are the most helpful people you'll ever meet. That would be hard to prove or disprove. Then it says, there'll be professional at all times. When if they're not like kinda guarantee do I have that this will be accurate now or in the future? Better leave out this kind of language altogether. That's it for this lesson. Let's move on to the next. There are three takeaways for this lesson. Number one, avoid extreme statements and examine your adjectives for accuracy. Number two, product service claims must be backed up with reliable sources. Some industries and products have special laws about what can and cannot be said or labeling requirements. Number three, proof points are valuable communication tools. Use them whenever you want to build trust with your audience and provide supporting evidence. If you don't have much yet, forward-looking customer quotes can help fill the gap until you are able to develop solid metrics. 5. Areas of Risk: Specific Terms & Situations: Hi, welcome back. We've already gone over the importance of word choice in marketing and sales communication. Now, let's get into some specific terms in situations they need extra attention. In this lesson, I'll explain the difference between business language and legal terms and what happens when those intersect. One common scenario where the two overlap is when you have a promotion, a giveaway related to this are contests and games of chance. The big issue was promotions is that there are more regulations in place around these than other forms of communication because so many people have gotten burned in the past. Do you remember the Publishers Clearing House mailed contest announcements. They used to go to millions of households. They had a well-known sweepstakes that said it gave away thousands of dollars all the time. The contest was well-known for a reason. They said trays and trays full of entries to people on every street. Though they were personalized, these letters certainly weren't special. In the 19 nineties. I was a mail sorter at the US Postal Service. I remember being shocked at the sheer volume of Publishers Clearing House mail. The company still exists, but they no longer do the mass mailings they once did. Why? Legal action? The company frequently used words in their direct mail that led many people to think their chances of winning were pretty good. The company was eventually hit by all 50 states in the US with lawsuits about it, sweepstakes, entries and direct mail settling each lawsuit by 2010. Let's get into a little more detail about specific terms and situations to watch for as you make Marketing and Sales Content. Lesson five, specific terms in situations. Some of the terms I watch out for include partner, leverage and anything that makes a promise about the future. Of course, every organization works with third parties known as suppliers, vendors, or contractors. Some businesses are owned by multiple partners, but rarely is partner the right word to use in marketing materials. This is due to legal risk. Unless a person or entity is a partner in the legal sense of the word, it's better to avoid using that term. It implies a relationship that might not truly exist if a third party wants to be a partner, but is it they might expect certain actions or benefits that aren't appropriate. It implies a promise, leverages another term that I avoid. It implies that there is some extra benefit to be had, and that advantage could be found unfair in a court of law. For example, we leveraged our knowledge of the auto industry to bring you the best interest rate possible when special knowledge, when enabled that benefit to the customer, isn't something anyone has access to you, or is it just this one company? How is that possible? This raise also uses an extreme statement, as we discussed in a previous lesson. We've already talked about promotions and contests. Here's an example of a terms and conditions statement that is so long it barely fits on the slide. Contests are one of the times that you most likely want to check your wording with a legal representative. Because laws around gifts and taxes vary from region to region, it's your responsibility to check the regulations in all the locations in which your promotion is valid. This is why you'll often see terms and conditions for contests that essay, this promotion is only valid for residents of a or B Country. And other common phrase is no purchase necessary to win. This is included when the law's effecting a promotion specify that it's not legal to require that someone by a specific product or service in order to enter the contest. When you're operating in multiple regions, you've got to consider the financial end of things in a whole new way. There are different currencies in use around the world. So finding a way to explain the cost of your items becomes more complex. Then their sales tax in recent years, the rise of internet only businesses has given the courts Much to consider regarding taxes. At first, nobody charged sales tax for all my purchases. This changed over time as local governments realize they were missing out on a revenue stream based on transactions that were no longer tied to their regions. Laws were changed and now there are entire companies devoted to helping organizations collect, track, and pay sales tax based on the location of the purchaser. Value-added tax or a VAT, is best known for the forums a tourist fills out upon leaving a region they visited. That's how they get the amount they spent on sales tax reimbursed, VAT is levied on manufactured goods and services, and most regions exempt tourists. It's another thing to watch for in your marketing and sales efforts. To sum up, global payments and taxes, be clear with your customers and clients about what they will need to pay by and in what currency. Let's look and see if there's any special terms are situations in my project. There's no contest involved in this marketing piece. If there were, I would explain that promotion to my legal representative and ask them to help craft a terms and conditions statement that covers my liability. I see a couple of special terms in this document. You can develop your own list of words and phrases to watch for and make sure that everybody involved with communications at your organization is aware of them and what to use instead. Like a word diet, I tried to give people an alternative to use so they don't feel deprived. In a company background section, it says blossom marketing and its partners provide their owners of the business and we don't go to market with any contractual partners. So that's not really an accurate statement. A better word choice would be blossom marketing and a few select vendors work together to provide you with work together and to provide communication strategy that looks good. And then I will take out this whole unmatched team of contractors and vendors that I struggled over before. And I think I'll also take out multiple clients because that's extra. I also see a sentence in this section that says, we leverage our industry connections. Let's change that to we use our industry connections and avoid the slight risk of a period to have an unfair advantage. Excellent. Let's move on to the next lesson. There are three takeaways from this lesson. Number one, watch her everyday business terms. That means something specific in legal settings. Number to verify the tax obligations you have when operating in different regions. And number three, when doing promotions or contests. Finally, you'll representative to check or help create your terms and conditions. 6. How To Approach: What To Focus On: Hi, welcome back. With all this knowledge, you may be wondering how to approach risk management, what to focus on. In my experience, there are two categories of harmful Marketing and Sales Content. The first is inappropriate, untrue, or illegal material. Sadly, this can be intentional. The law covers some of these instances, especially liable and slander. The effects of material. In this category, you can take the form of hurt feelings, damage reputations, and inability to make a living, or even physical threats and harm. I remember living in St. Petersburg, Florida years ago. That's pretty hot there in the summers. At 1, I purchased an inexpensive used car from a small lot. It was a mid-size sedan with air conditioning. The air conditioning was a big part of the reason I bought the car, but it stopped working after just two weeks. This caused me financial harm as I hadn't had the car repaired elsewhere. In this example, the harm was small enough that I didn't spend time and resources to sue the seller. But I definitely learn a lesson about believing what I'm told by someone trying to sell. Chances are good that the misrepresentation in this case was intentional. The second type of harmful content is that which causes unintended harm. Again, this can be harmed in the form of negative audience perception, damage to brand or actual physical or emotional impact. In this segment, I'll go into detail about what types of unintended harm might occur and how to uncover some of your blind spots when it comes to this type of material. If you're ready to learn, let's dive in. Less than six. What to focus on. As I mentioned in the introduction, there are some materials that cause intended harm to their audiences. Avoid doing this. In my experience, it's more effective and less risky for you to provide accurate, legal, and culturally sensitive marketing and sales material in the course of your communication campaigns. You can do this by adhering to your policies, coming up with best practices and following them, finding qualified advisers and continuing your education. There's a gray area here called satire, opinion, and fiction. It's not illegal in some regions to make fun of a public figure with or without their consent. And as we've discussed, opinions are often protected speech. So you can say what you will in marketing and sales materials, if it's a statement accurately ascribed to an individual and other type of content that might look like it's inaccurate or inappropriate is material that's made up. So there's Priceline commercial. This whole series starting William Shatner came out just ten years ago. It depicts Shatner doing illegal things. And making extreme product claims, but it's all protected speech as the segments are clearly fictional. Listen to Shatner using extreme term right at the beginning of this commercial. And then here the rest of the fiction in this piece. Meals nobody else gets, trust me, I'm a great negotiator. 60%, 601460. Trust me, they can't say no to me. I've been doing this for 20 years. I'm trusting you exclusive hotel deals into 60% off priceline.com. You'll notice there was a disclaimer at the end of that add. Now we come to marketing and sales material that is accurate and legal, but may have unintended negative impact on the audience or another stakeholder. You've already learned about some of the consequences that can happen through communication. After viewing your ad or website, the audience may have a more negative perception of your organization or brand. There might even be real life threats to someone's safety. Unintended harm can also occur as a result of product design choices. For example, the social media network giant Facebook, has a policy that requires that a person's profile and cover pictures are public. While many people don't have a problem with this, what about someone who's trying to avoid people who mean them harm? Luckily, Facebook, does it require that those photos show someone's face? But there are other apps that do. This is an example of actual harm that was not intended by the app creators. Another example, our Barbie dolls. There was a lack of diversity in the dolls for decades. It's become a classic example of exclusionary product design and subsequently exclusionary advertising. Let's take a look at this video and you can see what I mean. While plenty of people still bought Barbie dolls, they also left a legacy of unintended harm to millions that the Mattel Company is still working to overcome. What can we do about this? You can consider the perspectives of anyone and everyone who might be reading or viewing your content. Here, wiki hat l pictures can protect your profile pictures. So this is a commonly known issue. Checking for inaccuracy is a big deal. I once worked for a public information officer at a large school district. This person had been a reporter on the education be in that city for 20 years before taking the job, they asked us staffers to triple check everything that went out the door as they were terrified of inaccuracy or untruths that could lead to negative press. Though hard, it was a good rule. Three sets of eyes, or at least two, on everything that gets published. I have found that people are especially offended if you get the spelling of their name wrong, imprint. Get it right by fact checking and double checking. If you find a mistake later in something you produced, try to correct it as soon as possible. So proofreading is an example of a testing process that is invaluable in marketing and sales communication. We discussed privacy at length in another lesson. Many governments and organizations are trying to address this with better regulations, systems, and processes. You can develop your own privacy policies and create systems that help you safeguard your customer's personal information. Let's go to the demo. I have a process to run marketing content through three sets of eyes before publishing. And this two pager is no exception. I'm not collecting any personal information with the piece. I'll be sure to get some feedback on the wording to make sure that this document is understandable by a wide variety of people. There are five takeaways for this lesson. Number one, stay away from inappropriate, untrue, or illegal content. Number two, make sure you know your sources and fact check. Number three, use satire and opinions sparingly unless you're a comic. Number four, look for unintended harm. And number five, create processes to protect data and make accuracy a priority. 7. How To Approach: Narrative - Minimizing Your Risk: Hi, welcome back. One way to help protect your organization from risk to your brand or financial health is to address diversity, equity and inclusion, or d pi in your marketing and sales communication. You can improve the breadth and appeal of your material by including more diverse voices and is in content development. Sometimes Marketing and Sales Content is translated into more than one language to reach more people, to prepare your material for a wide audience, Start by removing sayings. That only means something regionally known as idioms and take the time to do cultural validation checks. This makes it easier for someone to translate your material as well. Equity has to do with fairness, to be civilized is to share and care for each other. I think of it as making sure that nobody profits from other people's pain and suffering. You can evaluate your content and message to see if that reflex in a subjective or object of pain or suffering. For example, if I were helping a client, so all the tickets to an exclusive concert, I wouldn't focus our marketing strategy on the pain of the people who couldn't get in. You could do that, but it would have to be handled with a large amount of humor and I'm not sure I'd risks good. I'm not saying that companies don't go to market with themes of inequity. I think we often do that. We can at least avoid doing it deliberately. Find people to review your marketing and sales communications who can look at it from different perspectives, including checking for accessibility. You never know who's going to see and be affected by your marketing material. So it's important to opt for positive messages even when you're helping people avoid tragedy. I know my word and image choices in marketing and sales content might affect people in ways I can't predict. So if I'm asked to create an ad, I'm going to include people have various skin colors into meters, no matter what group. I'm hoping will ultimately make that purchase. Messaging can be unconscious or deliberate to minimize your risk of hurting or offending people or damaging your organization's brand. Financial hell, I recommend creating a messaging framework to keep track of favored positive phrases and concepts. This documents your key points so that the people in your organization can present a more consistent message. Now, let's get into some more depth on these topics. Less than seven positive narrative. How do you create a positive narrative? Let's start with diversity. It's closely related to inclusion. You can minimize your risk by getting input on your drafts from a variety of people and listening carefully to their thoughts and impressions. To prepare your material for a wide audience, You can remove sayings that only mean something regionally known as idioms. Take the time to do cultural validation checks and see what the meaning of your term is in a variety of languages. These practices make it easier for someone to translate your material as well. What is equity? Equity has to do with fairness, to be civilized, is to share and care for each other. I think of it as making sure that nobody profits from other people's pain and suffering. You can evaluate your content to CFF reflex, any subjective or objective inequity or pain in your approach to selling your product or service offering. As I said, I recommend you have multiple people from different backgrounds read or view your material before it's published to see if there's anything that jumps out at them as inappropriate or exclusionary, you might be surprised at the percentage of people who have different abilities to see, hear, or move their bodies. Some are in pain from chronic illnesses. There are a few things you can do to make sure that your marketing and sales material is accessible to as many people as possible. First, connect with organized support groups for people with different abilities. See if anyone would be willing to review your material. So you can begin to put in place some standards and processes. And easy one is creating materials with moderate to high levels of contrast. For colorblind people or those with visual impairments. This can be the difference between being able to read the words of your ad or article or not. Here are a couple of resources for you to find more information on this topic. I recommend using one of these accessibility checkers to go over any script or written material that you might prepare. Your positioning and messaging are important components of the way that you talk about your product or service. Positioning is how does that compare with other offerings and messages? What messages do you send to your audiences and stakeholders? You can also check your material for something I call meaning over manipulation. Rather than trying to push your audience into a particular action, invite them to take the next step in a connection with your organization. Do this by providing a narrative that has meaning to their lives. Define your organizational values, and connect them to your marketing and sales efforts. You can find role models within the organization or higher spokespeople who can help reflect and model these values to your customers and clients. This Gillette add on toxic masculinity got a lot of press coverage when it was released in January of 2019 and less than two minutes. This ad makes very clear what the company values on why. Let's take a look. Movement against masculinity. Is this the best demand can get is happening here. It will tell you as a problem and can't hide from it. Is taking over first being going on far too long. We can't laugh it off. What I actually think she's trying to say in making the same old excuse, it will be boys. Wars with something finally changed allegations regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment wants but she says he's a putouts and Tacitus is nicely. And there will be no going back. Because we, we believe in the best in men. Men need to whole other men accountable. Misleading. To say the right thing. To act in the right way. Already are. In ways big and small vgs. He's watching today. Gillette made a stand for human rights, doing so courageously in a time of declining usage of the entire product line. That shaming equipment and supplies, that action might be remembered more positively over the next few years as our culture changes. This Old Spice commercial series was also memorable. Let's take a look. Hello ladies. How are you? Fantastic. Does your man look like me know, can he smelled like? Yes. Should he use Old Spice body wash? I don't know. Do you like the smell of adventure? You wanna man who smells like again, bake you, go and make cake in the dream kitchen he built with his own hands. Of course. Swan dive into the best night of your life. So ladies, Judge, oh man, smell like an old spice man. You're telling me it's clear that the company values both active masculinity and smelling good. This Ad implies that you can combine these qualities by using their products. Consider your narratives and make them as positive as possible while still being factual and relating to your audience. The takeaways for this lesson are, number one, include a variety of reviewers to learn how different people perceive your material. Number two, equity means taking care of each other and making fair transaction. Number three, Accessibility tax help more people connect with your organization. And number four, positioning and messaging can be created that's positive, consistent, and reflects your organization's values. 8. How To Approach: Internal Training & Practice: Hi, welcome back. Now it's time to learn how to put all this together into best practices for your organization. How do you reduce risks on a daily basis? I found that it's hard to produce excellent marketing and sales communication completely on my own. I recommend that you identify a set of reviewers are every piece, whether they are communications professionals or not. You can use the same people for multiple items or specify a new team for each one. I find it very helpful to ask people who are subject matter experts to take my material before it gets published. These might be technical advisors, cultural experts, or people who are very familiar with the topic in the peaks. And like I said before, proofreading is extremely valuable. None of us will catch every typo. La's two sets of eyes on your sales and marketing material is good practice, then three sets of eyes is better. Now, let's get into some specific ways that you can practice the principles in your own situation. Less than eight, internal training and practice. As you start to use these techniques to protect your organization from the consequences of unintended harm that could be caused by your marketing and sales material. You may find that it's hard to cover everything yourself, no matter how vigilant you are, it's easy to miss phrases and words you use that are likely to impact others in ways you didn't attend. I recommend practicing risk management with other people as that way, you'll get feedback from multiple perspectives on every marketing initiative and item. You can set up a regular meeting with a specific group of people to brainstorm about things that might come up for audiences and stakeholders around your work. Check for ad law concerns, privacy vulnerabilities, and measured data related to any voluntary standards, your organization may have adopted. Another area in which you can prepare and practice to better avoid risk for your organization is called crisis communication. This is when something big happens regarding your work or your workplace. Either something about a person or about your organization in general. When there's a crisis, it's helpful to be prepared in advance with talking points. That way people from your organization know what to say, whether it's at a press conference or two reporters who call or to the general public. I like to put together a root Q and a, or a set of answers to frequently asked questions that might be hard to address. For example, if your organization as a small business and there's a gas explosion on your block, you may want to prepare answers to questions like, do you have a way to serve customers while the area is blocked off? Or how soon will you reopen after the damage on your story has been repaired? These Q and a can be put together in a hurry, but it's so helpful to have them on hand in advance for all your staff to refer to you when things are chaotic and they're expected to have an answer to a tough question. Now let's go to our projects and see how these principles apply. Following these best practices with my project, I can put together a team of people outside of my agency who can periodically review our sales and marketing material for message, tone and meeting. This group may also be willing to help with risk management is simple enough to come up with some ideas of what could happen to negatively impact my company. I can also create a list of questions and answers about our company that can be used as a backbone for future Q and A's that might come up in a crisis. Let's take a look at my project one more time. These outstanding items may still cause problems with ad law. I know that I have to be very accurate in my material. We did conduct two webinars, so I'm going to leave that statement. In fact, increased sales leads by 50%. That's a bit of a stretch. I can't guarantee with every client that their leads will go up by 50%. But I can say that a benefit to a client is that we'll increase their sales leads. As long as I take the quantification off, I'm a little safer. High-quality content is another subjective word. It's hard to prove whether or not something's high-quality. I'm going to leave that in for now. Down here, we use our industry connections to bring you more business than anything else, anyone else? I don't think that's accurate. I am going to take that out altogether. And there we have it. Project completes. So the takeaways for this lesson are, number one, gather a group of people who will help you with risk management and preparation for common scenario. Number to come up with a basic list of typical questions someone might ask of your organization in a crisis. And number three, practice checking for risk and responding to the types of crises that might impact your work. Now, let's sum it all up. 9. Conclusion: Congratulations, you've made it to the end of this risk management course. Now, you'll have more skills to prevent common issues from negatively impacting your brand or organization. We talked about compliance with regulations, ADD law, privacy, and how to avoid extreme statements in your marketing and sales material. We also discussed how to make qualified claims with proof points to back them up. And what to do. If you're using a business term that also has a legal meaning. Then we covered how to focus these best practices and use them every day in your work to prevent unintended harm. Using a positive narrative and including feedback from a variety of people is key to being inclusive and avoiding risk to your reputation or ability to operate successfully. Finally, we went over some ideas about how to involve more people in the task of protecting your organization and brand perception. If there's one thing I hope you take away from the class, it's that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By spending some time before a crisis hits or unintended harm occurs. You can avoid a lot of hardship for yourself, your organization, and your stakeholders. For me, risk management is something I've found to be essential, even when there doesn't seem like there's time to do it in advance. These give yourself that competitive edge, evaluate your material, wireless being created and periodically when it's live. That way, you'll have the confidence of knowing that you are at least partially prepared for any situation that comes up for your organization. Now, your call to action is to upload your project to the project and Resources tab. Please ask any questions that you may have and I'll do my best to answer them quickly. Thanks again for watching and participating. Let me know what else you'd like to learn about marketing, sales campaigns and content. Best wishes.