A communications’ strategy is as much a part of business planning as is developing one’s business model, and while messages and audiences differ vastly among industries and audiences, it is of equal, paramount significance.
Creating a true business communication strategy is still a challenge for organisations and often neglected, in particular, Jamaican corporations and small businesses. Even in larger companies, we regularly see departments without a documented corporate communication strategy. As a culture, companies have come to expect business from consumers and services from employees, but have woefully disregarded the need for them to communicate to stakeholders effectively. Even as the digital era booms, many companies seek social media manager who will create calendars, but not strategies.
So What Is A Communication Strategy?
A communications’ strategy is a strategy designed to facilitate effective communication between an entity and its stakeholders as part of its business strategy. It is a detailed document which outlines and explains the message/messages to be delivered to stakeholders (internal and external), goals of the exchange, the target audience, the order of priority of theses messages and identifies available and potential delivery channels. This may apply to internal communications, marketing communications and public relations. The outlay of the strategy itself has four primary components: goals, target audience, communication plan and channels. If a company is to truly be competitive, it must be able to disseminate information to internal stakeholders and consumers and facilitate the feedback process to complete the communication loop. Consequently, a communications strategy in its arsenal is critical.
Signs you need a communication strategy
So how do you determine if your business needs a strategy? Here are 3 signs you need to develop one.
1. Internal communication is disorganized.
Each time information needs to be disseminated to your team, you have to sit and plan how to it, or call a meeting. All too often, companies call a ‘meeting’ that takes away from productive work time or employees time with a message that could be communicated with the right internal communications strategy. With a strategy in place, information can be passed along to relevant stakeholders through more than one medium and funneled into one feedback channel without interrupting workflow.
2. your marketing efforts are not YIELDING results
If your company is spending thousand of dollars on stellar marketing campaigns for your business or brand, but consumers have no idea about them, the issue may be with the communication channels. Different products and services need different communication styles and channels depending on the target audience.
3. Customers complain about varying information
If customers contacting your business is receiving different information based on different contact points, this may be as a result of your employees not being coordinated in the company’s communication efforts as it relates to information distribution and fluency.