Do you have a dozen colleagues and a bunch of managers who watch over your every move in communication? This might affect your confidence and leave you feeling insecure whenever you want get the right message out. Everybody has an opinion on copy, image, and message. Here are five vital tips to help you build a solid communication strategy that no one can touch.
1. Know the reason why
This might sound obvious but tons of communication managers do not know why their company does what they do in the first place. Watch Simon Sinek to understand ‘what the why’ is and how to define it. Knowing the reason why helps you not only build a stronger brand but also to focus on the way you shape communication. This is the starting point for clear and effective communication. Write down the why and put it up where you can see it every day. Make it visible in your office. This will help you and your colleagues to focus on the core message.
2. Tell a story
It’s no coincidence that kids like bed time stories. Kids and adults alike are drawn to an intriguing story, storytelling is part of human nature. When listening, people instantly connect the content to their own experience. Stories manage to reach the ‘heart’ directly. Make your why clear and precise. For example: Royal Boskalis Westminster used, “We move the earth to a better place” for years. Knowing they’re earth movers, this makes perfect sense — right? If you need to get your story straight, you can ask us or ask Sam Horn for advice.
3. Plan your communication wisely
Mark seven contact moments on a calendar throughout the year, then decide how to use those contact moments: Article, Newsletter, White-paper, Direct Mailing, or even a Christmas card. Calculate backwards how much time it will take to organise these contact moments and who will be responsible. Set up meetings specifically dealing with these moments. Think about how the content will match your story. Read Verne Harnish’s Rockefeller ‘Habits to get the full picture’. This is the most precise version possible.
4. Choose the right channels
Know who your target group is, where they hang out, and what will trigger them. For example: It’s easier to get online traffic with online communication than with billboards. Communication on brand values requires other channels than a straight forward sales campaign. The options are endless yet many managers decide without putting much thought into the choices made. Remember: where you are influences the outcome. Make a little ‘seeding’ schedule with your media of choice, research when the target group will be in contact with your brand or campaign. Are there other influences that could escalate or diminish your campaign such as the weather, day of the week, hour of the day or what’s in the news? Make adjustments where possible in order to ensure your campaign’s desired impact.
5. Execute well
Your target group isn’t aware of the amount of sweat and effort you have been putting into research and planning; they only see the end result. Once you have executed all these steps, ensure there is sufficient budget to execute the last phase to a high quality level. Be professional and also use professionals. “Yes, we know your niece is pretty, but can she act?” It will help your brand grow and your communication improve if you don’t falter at the final phase. Get the maximum value from your hard work in the initial phases, and deliver the complete package.
Be consistent: Consistency in communication will make your brand or product easier to recognise, to be remembered, and referred to.
PS. Learn by doing… there would not have been a car if we didn’t try to make a wheel.