Three Simple Questions That Drive Strategic Communications
Last week we laid out the steps for looking back at your previous 365 days of communications in the communications planning phase that we like to call The Turnaround.
If you completed your assignment and mapped out your Turnaround Report then you’re probably getting eager to clean up that pile of paper down the hall before one more co-worker whines about the block you’ve placed on that conference room.
So grab your report and get ready to dig a little deeper as we reveal Secret #2 in our series—The 7 Secrets of Strategic Communications. This is where things get fun.
Secret #2 – Answer Three Simple Questions…
The real benefit of documenting past communications is in what it can tell you as you prepare your future communications. In The Turnaround phase, we sidelined any evaluation or judgment, focusing instead on mining for content and compiling the most comprehensive collection of information possible.
Now it’s time to review your past communications by asking three simple questions:
- what worked;
- what didn’t; and
- knowing what you know now, what would you do differently next time?
When we apply this filter to our clients’ work we often discover things like overlooked audiences, failure to incorporate tracking tools to measure a campaign’s response rate, or missed opportunities to follow up on key initiatives with meaningful ongoing communications.
This process works because of the 20/20 nature of hindsight. Often we are forced to operate from a place of reaction rather than strategy, making it easy to gloss over best practices that can make or break the success of your communications.
Looking back at what did and didn’t work can shed light on areas or processes in need of improvement before you find yourself in the throes of panicked production. And identifying what you would do differently prepares you to implement better strategies for producing communications that yield measurable results.
Next week, we’ll help you map out your next strategic steps so that your communications plan doesn’t become a repeat offense of last year. Until then, we encourage you to go group by group through your Turnaround Report asking: what worked, what didn’t, and what would you do differently next time?
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