Five reasons a communications audit makes good business sense - Focus Communications
Sue Heuman

Sue Heuman

Principal at Focus Communications

Five reasons a communications audit makes good business sense

Legendary US retailer John Wannamaker once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

If this sums up your organization, a communications audit might just be what you need.

An audit takes an objective review of your current communication activities and provides data and insights to inform decisions about future actions. Good audits will also analyse how well your communication efforts support the organization’s business objectives and meet the needs of target audiences.

Here are five great reasons to have a communication audit.

1 Audits take a communications ‘pulse’ providing a snapshot of existing activities

Our audits look at core communication documents (digital, print, social media, etc.) and evaluate tone, language, grade level and more. We look at digital analytics, do audience analyses, and review delivery channels. We check timing and frequency of messages, and we look at the resources currently needed to sustain these channels.

2 Audits identify gaps and duplication in communication messages and channels

Audience Audit

How many channels to each audience are appropriate? What channels are missing? Do we even know how each of our audiences want to receive information from us? These are all critical questions that we pursue as part of our audit process. It involves surveys, focus groups, and interviews with key stakeholder or leaders to understand how people currently get information, and importantly, how they want to get it. We look at timing (day or week of the month) and frequency (Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly?)

3 Audits can identify when certain target audiences are being overlooked, or conversely, inundated with communication

Sometimes we are so concerned about reaching one particular audience that we overlook another. Or, we send too many communiques without understanding how and when our audiences want to receive information. A matrix can be created to track message delivery timing and frequency against a list of key audience groups. We quickly see any needed improvements.

4 Audits build on what’s working, while introducing key activities and messages that are missing

Often, communication channels are the right ones, but the messages and timing need to be updated. Or, there are newer ways of connecting with an audience that the organization isn’t aware of. In these cases, we can home in on what’s working and what needs to change.

5 Audits can help make better use of your resources (staff time and funds)

The answer to effective communication isn’t always ‘do more.’ Many times, it’s ‘do better.’ Effective, efficient communication that resonates with your audiences can significantly contribute to achieving your corporate objectives.

Let’s have a conversation about your communication needs and see if an audit is right for you.

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