Communications

Listening and participating
are critical.

Strategy: it's all about engagement.

Over the years, so much has changed with communications and engagement. It’s no longer acceptable to simply distribute messages: organizations must engage people in meaningful ways.

Today, we view communications and engagement as prime opportunities for audiences to interact with companies, governments, and organizations. Our role is to help our clients tell stories, listen to comments, and answer questions.

The process begins with background analysis to determine the communications context: what’s currently going on? Why is communication necessary? Are particular issues creating controversy or concern? Are stakeholders motivated by emerging issues? Are they content with the status quo or do they want change? What is the history between the organization and its publics?

A communications strategy defines and clarifies organizational goals and sets measurable objectives that show what success looks like. The strategy analyzes the audience and lays out an approach and plan. It includes measures that track success and determine whether the strategy is meeting the desired outcomes.

Communications audits give you a new perspective.

A communications audit assesses the current state. It evaluates existing materials and identifies new opportunities. It measures messaging, media relations, and reputation.

An audit may start with interviews with senior management, managers, and a representative sample of employees. It may include telephone and electronic surveys of customers or audiences, social media scans and digital audits, inventories of existing communications tools, along with analysis of their suitability, readability, tone, language, and more. The process takes a deep dive into things that matter: metrics, sentiment, and effectiveness. It helps an organization identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges of its various communication methods and provides that “aha” moment of clarity.

Plan Elements​

The research and assessment conducted during an audit can lead to strategic communications plans for public and employee communications.

  • Summary of background and opportunity, including the brief project history and the involvement of the respective audiences to date
  • Research summary, SWOT analysis, including an understanding of emerging challenges and opportunities
  • Communication goal – definition of the long-term business goal that communications is supporting
  • Objectives – specific, measurable objectives to support the organization in achieving its business goals
  • Identification of internal and external target audiences
  • Overarching key messages, by target audience
  • Communication tools, by target audience
  • Implementation of communication tools (including roles, responsibilities, inputs, production time, frequency, timing, distribution)
  • Resource allocation (staff time and budget)
  • Evaluation metrics to monitor progress and adjust as needed