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How circles of influence work and why your business should use one

Knowing your Circle of Influence and using it to distribute critical information can make a huge difference in the short- and long-term impact a crisis has on your organization – highlighting your strengths and lessening adverse effects. BOLD has created a guide for establishing your Circle, and how to use it in a crisis situation.

How it works

The string of events that bring a business or organization to a crisis situation typically include a broad circle of people, with small groups experiencing varying levels of impact from that crisis. It’s important to identify that circle of people, and segment them into target audiences. Often, there’s crossover, depending on the situation or audience.

This exercise helps identify those segments for your organization, and breaks down who belongs in each.

Circle One – Influence

Those individuals or groups who can make decisions or take action to change the situation or issue (often your C-Suite, Board of Directors, ownership).

Circle Two – Affective

Those whose daily lives are going to be changed by decisions made or actions taken (often your employees, partners, suppliers and customers).

Circle Three – Involved

Those somewhat involved or who have involved themselves but don’t experience impact on a daily basis (often key community leaders, subcontractors).

Circle Four – Interested

Those who are not involved in the situation but who are interested because of past experience, anticipated future interaction or their role as a community resident (often community leaders, general vendors, realty, elected officials, dignitaries, competitors).

Circle Five – Opinion Makers

Circles of Influence

Those who can shape broader group opinions based on things they say, write or do related to the situation (often media, general public, social media).

After doing this exercise, communication tactics, the frequency of communications and the key messages used will vary among the groups identified in your Circle. Use this as a guide for creating a crisis communication plan. Need help? We’re here for you: https://www.getboldmarketing.com/contact-us.html

We Can Help

Dana Thomas is the President and Owner of BOLD, a Midwest-based growth firm that partners with businesses and nonprofit organizations to maximize outcomes. She specializes in crisis management, business consulting and public relations. Contact her at dana@getboldmarketing.com