This week is when it all begins: Our goals for 2014 come alive, moving off the pages of a business plan and into action. To achieve your business goals this year, make sure your communications plan revolves around them.
Start 2014 with a bang with these strategic communication plan best practices:
- Tie communications to business outcomes. Communication is so much more than grammar and branding; it permeates an organization. As such, look beyond tactics. Make sure your messaging enhances relationships, and leads to measurable business performance and growth.
- Consider external insights. Resist the urge to create a plan in a company-centric bubble. Research external influences that affect long-term success, including business trends, threats and specific industry changes.
- Align your channel messages. One client’s communication, marketing, sales and customer service departments all shared different – and even conflicting – messages with customers. Consistency matters, so we created a clear, accessible internal communications program to help all staff speak with a common voice.
- Establish & apply communication guidelines. To create compelling content across multiple media, develop visual and content quality standards. Standards enhance support consistency and brand integrity.
- Share the plan. Everyone in an organization can benefit from using a brand message framework, not just frontline staff. Since everyone talks about their organization with others, including informal acquaintances, help them share positive, accurate messaging.
Once your communication plan includes these best practices, you can confidently say, “Bring it, 2014!”
What’s your top communication goal for 2014?
Lisa Goller helps businesses tell their story. As a Toronto-based Strategic Freelance Writer & Editor, she helps executives and entrepreneurs stand out, look good and save time. Learn more at lisagoller.com
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Crenshaw, Dorothy. “6 things that undermine a strategic communications plan.” Ragan.com, December 4, 2013.