All organisations have frequent communication between staff, management, HR and other parts of the business as well as communication with outside entities such as suppliers, customers and the general public.
There is a great need for effective and strategic communications, with both internal and external stakeholders, to build trust, manage reputation and engage with the organisations priorities, goals and objectives.
However, creating the right communication strategy is not an easy task. Every organisation has a different set of goals, with different teams trying to achieve them, so there is no clear cut way of creating the perfect strategy. With this in mind, we have put together some keys steps to help you create the right strategy for you:
Define your goals: the main role of a communication strategy is to define the visions, aims and objectives of an organisation. This is a great starting point when preparing to create your strategy. Indicate what your organisation wishes to achieve and which of the goals are long term and which are short term.
Know your audience: it is crucial that you outline your audience in the early stages of planning, you need to identify who you need to be communicating with to achieve the strategy objectives. Once you have identified your key audiences you can start to develop the appropriate messages that resonate with each of the different audience types. Building the profile of your target audience will help you to determine more clearly the direction of your communication strategy.
Key communication methods: for each audience you have identified you should highlight the most appropriate channels for communicating with them. Your strategy will more than likely involve all forms of communications including written, spoken, email, print and video. Once you have looked at the channels you have, you can begin to construct your communications plan, linking audiences, messages and channels.
Plan of action: Now that your audience and key communication methods have been identified the next step is to outline the key communication activities, budget and what resources you will need to get the job done. The work plan should also include timescales and any key milestones within the strategy. All of this will help to receive senior leadership buy-in to the project and will also make sure that they are aware of what you need and when the job will be done so that there are no surprises down the line.
Evaluation: It is important that you decide how you are going to measure the success of your strategy. There is no point creating a new communication strategy if when it is implemented you have no way of knowing if it is working. This is where the goals and objectives set out at the beginning of the process will help as you should be able to clearly see if these have been met. Feedback is also a key way to measure the effectiveness of your strategy, this can be done by having direct conversations with a sample of your different audiences allowing you to understand how well the different groups understand your messages or objectives. Consider and discuss these results carefully and use them to improve and amend your strategy.
If you are thinking of changing or creating your own communication strategy you may benefit from attending our Creating Effective Communication Strategies course on Wednesday 19th September in London. Attend this CPD Certified course led by Tim Smith, Communications Consultant and former Head of Communications at Southampton City Council to develop a more effective communications strategy.
Get involved in the conversation!
Has your organisation faced any issues with internal communications? Do you have any top tips for creating a communications strategy?
We’d love to hear from you. You can tweet us using #UMGTraining @UModernGov.
If you would like to discuss any of the details you have read in this blog; including our Creating Effective Communication Strategies on Tuesday 17th July, please contact us on 0800 542 9440 or email [email protected].
Can’t make the date?
We can also run this course for you In-house, at your organisation or a venue of your choice, on a date to suit you.
Contact our In-house training team on [email protected] or call 0800 542 9414 to find out more.