Yesterday we reviewed a series of questions that help move a communications strategy from Ready, Fire, Aim to Ready, Aim, Fire.
Once you’re ready to start planning campaigns using various business communications and channels – how do you follow up on those questions? With more questions of course! Below are a few more you should pose in order to make your communication strategy more effective. For simplicity’s sake – let’s think of the project in terms of a document. When looked at in terms of individual documents (statements, notices, email campaigns – or even Tweets or posts) the owners of the various processes become more clear because currently most companies silo processes by document or channel. Here goes:
- Who will be the document stakeholders? Which key people in your company will need to sign off on the final message before it can be delivered to your audience?
- Who owns the document and its development process? You should have one person in charge of keeping track of all the various aspects of document creation (writing, design, delivery, etc.). This person needs to track of the document’s development progress, so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of all the other messaging your company produces.
- What is the purpose of the document? Briefly covered in the first phase of the process, this question focuses on the major reason you’re creating this message in the first place. Is it to inform? To persuade? To entertain?
- How does it relate to our other business communications? If you’re creating a brochure, how will it fit in with your online, email, and other messaging?
- Are there industry regulations and/or internal guidelines you must follow?
- What data, technology, personnel, and production/delivery resources are at your disposal to complete this project? Sometimes there is more (or less!) than you think.
- What’s the hard deadline by which this project needs to be completed?
- How will you determine if the document is fulfilling its intended purpose?
This last question is where having well-defined goals for your messaging comes in handy. You’ll need to plan a way to measure your return on investment for this document.
It can be tempting to skip many of these questions in the interest of getting your message out there. But if you don’t take the time to answer them — for every project you create — you may be hurting yourself in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. Stay tuned for tips on where to get help when you’re ready to get rolling.