“Strategic communication management could be defined as the systematic planning and realization of information flow, communication, media development and image care in a long-term horizon. It conveys deliberate message(s) through the most suitable media to the designated audience(s) at the appropriate time to contribute to and achieve the desired long-term effect. Communication management is process creation. It has to bring three factors into balance: the message(s), the media channel(s) and the audience(s)” (Bockstette & Carsten, 2008)
Writing a communication strategy could represent a daunting assignment for communication professionals who may be unable to identify the different aspects that need to be planned for. As such, when writing a communication strategy, communicators are encouraged to consider 8 main steps that will lead into a well-rounded strategy, fulfilling the aspirations of their respective organizations.
1) Statement of Purpose: Why are you developing a communication strategy at the first place and what needs to be achieved with it.
2) Current Situation: To understand your organization’s current situation it is highly recommended to use tools such as: SWOT analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threats), PEST analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technological), and Competitor analysis.
3) Organizational Objectives vs. Communications Objectives: It is crucial to align both objectives and present a communication strategy that delivers your organization’s overall vision, and objectives.
4) Identifying stakeholders: Know your audience. Whether internal or external, communicators should be able to give a comprehensive description of their audience.
5) Messages: Craft your messages to be simple, relevant and appealing to your different audience. Avoid using one size fits all approach.
6) Key Communication Channels: Ask yourself what are the most adequate channels that will be used to transmit your messages? Understand all the available channels and their respective level of engagement.
7) Playbook: With your audiences and communications methods identified, it is time to highlight your key communications activities, budget, and allocated resources. Your work plan will allow you to measure steps toward your goals.
8) Auditing and Evaluating: What are your key performance indicators, what will the strategy success looks like, how will you be evaluating, measuring and auditing your communication strategy performance.
In addition to a well-rounded communications strategy, communicators need to consider incorporating strategies such as: media/PR plan, Digital Strategy, and Crisis Communications Plan.
Share your experience of developing a communications strategy, your thoughts are really appreciated.
Follow me on Twitter: @RogerJabaly
Add me on LinkedIn: LinkedIn