Understanding how to clearly explain your value proposition is an important skill to master when approaching audiences beyond your field of study. A Value Proposition is a promise of value to be delivered, communicated and acknowledged by a given audience. your value proposition is the “so what?” of your message and content. If you are not able to clearly convey the value you are adding to your audience, it will be challenging to attract and engage them in your research and you will not achieve your communication aims
You might have a different value proposition for each target audience identified in your communications plan. For example, the value proposition for students to be engaged in your content is the opportunity to learn and potentially develop their skills in an exciting area of research. They might also be looking to build their CV for graduate school. The value proposition for an industry partner may be a collaborative project that could yield financial benefits for the organization.
Ensuring that your value proposition aligns with your communications plan is vital. If you aren’t able to demonstrate value to your target audience you will fail to gain their engagement, which will directly impact your KPIs and the overall effectiveness of your communications plan.
To start thinking about how to develop a value proposition for your research, ask the following questions:
- What is the problem that your research solves?
- Who is experiencing the problem?
- Where does the problem present itself?
- Why is it important that this problem be solved?
- How is your proposed solution better than existing alternatives?
If you are able to clearly answer these questions through your communication plan, you should have no problem engaging the audience experiencing the problem (assuming you are using the correct channels to reach them!).
Further Reading: “Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Health is a great resource that dives further into methods to create messages that will stick with your audience.