In today’s global business environment, strategic communications are no longer a luxury – they are a necessity. You might call it stakeholder relations. You could simply call it marketing. It is all of these things, but at its core it is actually much simpler – it’s telling your story.
Three keys to communicating successfully are:
· Knowing what you’re trying to achieve;
· Planning ahead and sticking to the plan, and;
· Doing the research and using what you’ve learned.
And that’s all before you even put pen to paper!
How you tell your organizations story affects the extent to which your message reaches the intended audience and yields the desired results.
Telling Your Story
What your organization does and how you do it are important parts of your story. You want people to know that your business provides a valuable solution to meet their needs. And because different elements of your story will appeal to different people, you need to match the right parts of your message with the right audience at the right time.
A communications strategy based on qualitative research is the foundation of a strong and effective message that will compel buyers to act. An analysis of your top competitors identifies your best opportunities. An analysis of your market provides a profile of the key decision makers, their real needs and the language used to articulate those needs. Knowing your market and audience provides insight on how to tell your story, who will be listening, and what they expect to hear from your business.
Key Message Strategy
Can you define your business and your competitive advantage in 10 words or less?
If not, you need a key message strategy. This is the most important aspect of message development because how you tell your story affects the extent to which your message reaches the intended audience and yields the desired results. Using a key message strategy, you can create high-impact marketing through the consistent repetition of effective messages. Having a well defined message aligns organizational strengths and competitive competencies with customer needs. Your communication strategy needs to quickly create value and express what your company can do - today - for your client.
What is the message? Who is your audience? What’s in it for your client? How does your message drive the business? How will your client measure success?
The simple truth is it doesn’t matter how good you are at your business - if you’re not telling the right story, no one will ever know.
There is no simple way to define strategic communications. It builds a brand. It changes perception. It connects your organization with people and moves them to action. Smart strategy makes communication meaningful - to your audience and your bottom line. You need to ask the right questions to translate your business objectives into effective communication strategies.