Steps to Building an Agile Communications Plan
Communication plans tend to fail in organizations. Spontaneous planning can provide opportunities, but any reactive communication activities must be aligned with annual business goals. In case if an organization fails to do so, it causes wastage of resources. The communications team should support a company’s business goals. The clarity of defined goals will necessitate careful attention and probably some internal debate. Here are the steps:
Companies must differentiate themselves from their competition. The process of separating themselves from the crowd starts with finding their communication anchors such as their market differentiators, audiences, and messaging. A lot of companies are making a lot of noise in the market by churning out content in an attempt to position themselves as market leaders. Instead of following the herd mentality, companies need to become more self-aware and determine what sets them apart in the minds of their audience. To become self-aware, an organization must take input from a cross-section of customers, leadership, prospects, and competitors. This takes research and evaluation of negative feedback.
Know the Target Audience
A company’s target audience more or less remains the same over time unless the company is shifting markets dramatically. Annual planning is the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate the target audience for the coming year. The communications team must speak directly to the audience if the goal is customer acquisition. For example, if the goal is fundraising, then the company must balance out the conversation by reaching out to press and analysts, sharing thought leadership, spread messages that speak to the principal market influencers.
Spread the Right Message
Determine the most critical message for the audience that is identified and make it as direct as possible. Do not add unnecessary details to the message. Making unnecessary noise in an already saturated space will be in vain. The communications must reinforce the message without diluting it. Talking to too many audiences and spreading out too much content or messages is wastage of resources.
Being unique, knowing target audience, and refining the message are the three anchors that will keep the company tied down to its goals. Sticking to the basics will bring forth new opportunities. Customer demands might change in the future, the market might shift, but with solid communication anchors as mentioned above and upfront groundwork, the communication efforts will be fruitful.