As the very nature of business relies on consistent communication, internal and external, we have to implement a suitable communication plan.
This may sound incredibly basic, but it has such far-reaching impacts; whether you want to set up a sustainable business or you are looking to communicate best practices further outwards so you can impress potential clients, a comprehensive communication plan is crucial.
How can you build a strategic communication plan that ticks all the boxes?
Start From The Desired Outcome
When we look at the desired outcome, it boils down to two factors. Firstly, it’s the organizational outcomes that need addressing.
This is where you look at the needs of the business. You’ll have to find a correlation between the objectives of the company, and the bottom line. This means you have to list measurable and specific desired outcomes. Secondly, you need to think about communication objectives.
How can you achieve your outcome through your communication practices? Communication is all dependent on what you use, but also how it helps to achieve the business and custom that you need.
The communication channels are crucial, especially when dealing with your clients, as they have their own preferred methods.
This means that you should consider a wide variety of channels, whether it’s a white label fax program, Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP), or a combination of factors.
Who Is Your Audience?
Your audience will determine how you communicate. When it comes to marketing tactics, we use tools like market research to define our target market.
This then influences our products and promotional materials, as well as our tone of voice. When you are looking to communicate, whether it’s internal or external, you need to study your audience type and think about what you want them to feel and do as a result of you communicating with them.
This provides a focus, but it also gives you the opportunity to develop a style for each specific market. Your audience will always remain priority number one.
And as you you tailor your messages according to the target, this provides more clarity. It’s a very simple way to keep your business focused on key audiences and outcomes.
Improving Your Message Via Your Tone Of Voice
The tone of voice is the backbone of how you communicate yourself. Before you start to find the right methods to communicate, you have to figure out, through your target audience, how you can communicate.
But also, think about the context. If you are struggling to find an angle to communicating your message, you should go for the 5 W’s and an H process.
This gives you the opportunity to cover every base; after a while, this way of thinking becomes automatic. Your tone of voice is another aspect of the business that links in with the brand, the ideals, and ethics.
As your business begins to develop its own style, tone of voice can usually follow. But when you have new people on board, they aren’t used to your tone of voice. It’s a good idea to provide a bible of sorts, as this can keep everybody on the same track.
Improving your tone of voice is also about how you put across the message. There are numerous tactics to get this across. One of the best things you can ever do is to be unexpected. When you think about the things that stick out in your mind, they are usually far from the norm.
Use this as a springboard to develop ideas that are above and beyond your remit. But you should also remember; simplicity is key. People prefer to have a grasp on a simple message. This is especially true in the modern-day, where attention span is so low.
And when we start to put forward these messages, it’s not just about the facts and figures (although they are crucial to underpinning our message); we have to figure out how we can tell stories with our content.
The narrative is something that is built into us as human beings; this means that when we start a story, we engage people, but this also means that we are coming across as a more human and affable business, whether we do this through internal communications or external.
Using Communication Best Practices
Communication isn’t just about the message, it’s the medium as well. When we are pushing our business in certain directions this is when we start to look at the best methods.
Marketing tactics are all about the platform in which they stand. This means that we can go and look at the demographics and put content on the platforms they use the most.
But also, we have to start thinking about how the message fits the medium as well. Again this is about making an impact in a short space of time.
But we also have to think about the right type of content that links in with our business, our voice, and the overall picture we put across. It all depends on the type of content you feel is integral to pushing your business out there.
A lot of businesses now make the most of things like explainer videos, because this helps to put across an honest perception of the business, especially if you are doing a behind the scenes video.
As the business needs the medium, this is when we have to start thinking about the other promotional tactics and while you’ve got things like Search Engine Optimization as an effective tool when you’re trying to communicate internally, it can be a complex beast.
As people don’t always check their emails, you got to find the various types of platforms internally to ensure that they are keeping their fingers on the pulse. There’s emails, newsletters, but also, you shouldn’t forget about face to face communication as well.
Building a communications plan for a business, whether it’s internal or external, means that you’ve got to think about what you are saying. When you start to look at the recipient, it’s about making it convenient for them.
This is something that many businesses can tend to forget, especially when they start to build themselves up and feel they are more important than the consumer or recipient.
What do you do to have a more comprehensive communication plan?