You could make it look like you’re doing something but not really make any difference.
Or you could develop a communications strategy so that everything you do has a purpose.
Time is money, especially for small businesses or not-for-profits, which is why it can be so tempting to skip the strategy step.
The pull towards action, to show you’re doing something, can be strong but the value in taking the time to work out a strategy pays you back in the long run.
What is a Communications Strategy?
There are different types of communications strategies that you can use in different situations.
A helpful way to think of it is that Communications Strategy isn’t an anchor that holds you back but a compass to show you the way.
Whether you are looking to grow your business as a whole or plan for a specific event or campaign, a communications strategy guides the way you manage stakeholders and communications activities.
A Communications Strategy helps to inform actions, including planning and tactics.
It is a written document that you can refer back to that sets out the reasons – the why – and the overall objectives – the what.
Where’s the value in having a Communications Strategy?
Spontaneity and reaction have a time and a place, but strategy builds a water-tight business case and brings focus.
A Communications Strategy gives the opportunity to judge progress, in other words:
- Encourages proactive communication,
- Improves efficiency,
- Shows value for money, and,
- Looks to the long term.
Also, in a twist of irony with a Communications Strategy you can do less communications because instead of a panicked, scattergun approach, your communications activity is considered and purposeful.
You can read my mini-rant about the value of a Communications Strategy in Ways to Invest in your Business.
Why don’t we just get on with it?
The most effective organisations – big or small – work best when everyone knows what their job is and why they’re doing it.
I get it.
It’s so easy to print those leaflets because that’s what you’ve always done or put something on Facebook because…er…everything is social media these days, right?
But who was supposed to get in touch with the local press to tell them our amazing story?
By taking the time to look at the current situation, you can be clear about:
- what you want to achieve,
- who your audience is,
- agree responsibilities,
- set a budget, and,
Effective communication can help your organisation solve problems and achieve goals.
Ineffective communication is a waste of time and money, which none of us are growing much of right now.
As Tom Peters demonstrates, what gets measured, gets done.
If you don’t even have the time to think about it, get in touch.