Communication is a central element of our everyday lives that all of our social, economic, and political relationships are built on.
For any business, proper communication with its customers lies in the foundation of success.
Considering the surplus of information coming at us from everywhere, it is hard to establish a clear connection with customers. Brands need to find new ways of reaching out to their audience to be noticed.
Let’s discuss how to create a communication strategy that will actually work.
What is a Communication Strategy?
A communication strategy is what determines the goals and objectives of a project. A communications plan is also your standard for evaluating the progress in connecting and interacting with consumers. It defines aspects such as timeframes, deadlines, priorities, and budgets. Basically, it is a guide to understanding and approaching the company’s audience.
Objectives of a Communication Strategy
The golden rule that will guarantee your strategy’s success is making its objectives SMART:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Achievable
- R – Realistic
- T – Timely
To make an efficient strategy, you should think about the objectives of your business first. What are your short and long-term goals?
For example, a SMART long-term goal would be to achieve a $500,000 turnover by the end of 2020 to create 20 new jobs. А SMART short-term goal would be a step in hitting this target.
Identifying Communication Strategies
Writing a good communications strategy can be tricky. Before you start, you should get acquainted with different types of communication plans.
- Cooperative, which should be revisited yearly
- A sophisticated large-scale project
- An announcement broadcast
- A conference or another major occasion
- Construction and the opening of a new object
How to Create a Communication Strategy Step-by-Step
It’s time for us to find out how to build an effective communication strategy. The number of nuances and details to take into account might feel overwhelming, so we’ve compiled a list of six simple steps in developing a communication strategy.
Determine Your Company’s Objectives
Start with defining your company’s objectives using the SMART approach. Pinpoint your present position and pay attention to your targets. You might want to consider marketing strategies, customer service, advancement management, making sure your employees stay and receive sufficient training, your profit, and costs.
Pinpoint the Communication Objectives
Narrow down your communication objectives. What do you want to achieve in this field? It might be anything from increasing the recognition of your brand and educating the public to encourage people to buy and stick to your products.
Do a SWOT Analysis
Assess your strengths and weaknesses using the SWOT method. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. How can you maximize your strengths? How can your weaknesses be transformed into strengths? How can you minimize threats? How can you take advantage of the opportunities?
Conduct a PESTEL Analysis
PESTEL is an acronym that stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and the Legal aspects of your business. Consider how all of them can affect your success and what you can do to create a good balance.
Do Your Research
Start with your competitors: who are they? What are their marketing and communication strategies? See if there’s anything you can adopt or look out for.
Then, move on to the customers: what is your target audience? What’s important to them? We recommend making lists splitting your target consumers into different types and groups to make your goals more specific.
Know Their Media of Choice
Find out what social media, websites or multimedia platforms your consumers use and which ways will be more effective in reaching them and getting their attention.
Supplementary Strategies for Communication Strategies
Supplementary features are needed to keep track of your progress. Make sure you do the following:
- Evaluate your results. Make a checklist of things you wish to see done to have discrete criteria to compare against.
- Be prepared for things to not go as planned. Create an action plan for critical situations that will help you keep your communication channels and stakeholders safe.
Pay particular attention to digital communications. Ensure your social media pages and websites are employed effectively.
How to Plan a Communication Strategy
There are a number of different kinds of communication strategy plans, each one more or less suitable for a specific situation. They include:
- General communication strategy of a company. This type of strategy is derived from the business’s objectives and marketing plans.
- Launch communication strategy. Sometimes, additional deadlines and events require separate sections in a general communication strategy plan, such as product launch and charity events.
- Crisis communication strategy plan. As mentioned earlier, you may have to act in a time-constrained manner to efficiently respond to an emergency situation.
How to Implement a Communication Strategy
The above leads us to the deployment and implementation of communication strategy.
- To transform your plans and strategic ideas into action, start with scheduling activities and distributing the effort you have to put in to achieve the target.
- Concentrate your message into three main ideas and visualize the ways you want to deliver them to the public.
- Make your presentation memorable and bright: include puns, images, and a catchy storyline. Focus on the positives and strengths of your company.
- Think about the details of your social engagement: how, where and when you will spread your message, and which social media you will use.
- Think through your budget and other resources: any associates, teams, physical items that might be useful in implementing the project.
- Create a calendar with deadlines and milestones you want to hit.
Developing a Communication Strategy
To make your strategy successful, everyone on your team should be on board. Ensure your team members have the same goal in mind and know your timeline, their role in the game, and the resources available. See which message delivery channels are available to you and keep an eye on the risks that you are taking. After a while, you’ll be able to see progress.
How to Measure the Success of a Communication Strategy
How do you know whether your strategy has been successful? Any plan should include a project assessment.
Don’t leave evaluation till the last minute: we recommend checking in with your progress several times during the project’s advancement. Set discrete, measurable indicators for the beginning, middle, and end-points. This could be fundraising targets, the number of followers or return on investment.
Communication Strategy Templates
In this section, we will summarize all of the steps into one template to make a high-quality efficient communication strategy.
- Set objectives. Separate your business objectives from communication objectives, but know how they fit together.
- Assess. Evaluate all of the internal and external components that might influence your business.
- Get to know your competitors and audience. Stay on top of things and know which communication techniques will be the most effective.
- Choose your channels. What social media are the most frequently used by your audience?
Establishing an effective communication strategy is extremely important for the company’s social policy and successful project delivery.
To develop a communication strategy, you should start with the definition of your goals and assessment of your current position on the market, research your competitors and consumers, and, finally, evaluate risks and create a backup plan for a critical situation.
To measure success, choose appropriate metrics and compare your progress against them regularly.