There are certain characteristics that should be at the core of any successful business. For example, every business should have a great product or service, amazing employees to keep the internal engine running, and loyal customers who provide support through purchases and promotion. There must also be underlying elements that help establish the aforementioned characteristics. And one of the most necessary is clear and effective communication. Communication is the basis of all interaction for companies. Without transparent communication at all levels, there is more room for error, and depending on the magnitude of the error, it can make or break a business. But while 89% of people feel that communication is extremely important. for work, 8 out of 10 people score the communication of your own company as average or bad. Developing a communication strategy for your business will help you understand how your company communicates best, internally and externally, and can provide you with measurable results to better understand the effectiveness of your communication tactics. In this post, we will explain how to create a communication strategy and plan for your company to ensure efficient and cohesive communication with both colleagues and clients.
What is a communication strategy?
A communication strategy is a process developed by the appropriate stakeholders to identify where communication efforts need to be improved. The next step in this process is to devise and select measurable actions that will be used to develop a Communication plan to achieve the desired result.
<h2>How to develop a communication strategy</h2> Use a communication plan template. Determine current and potential problems. Select the key stakeholders to be involved. Understand your audience and what matters most to them. Think about your ideal results and then work backwards.
1. Use a communication plan template.
HubSpot’s communication plan templates are a great resource to help you develop practical steps without spending too much time on this task. Your communication plan will clearly go through all the steps you need to take to address the challenges you face, such as completing an audit, setting SMART goals, and understanding how long each step in your plan will take. Depending on your overall strategy, you can develop multiple plans that will be implemented to meet the needs of different audiences. You’ll want to break your plan down into steps so you can easily track and measure progress on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Also, as you create your communications plan, you’ll need to consider a work schedule, a potential budget, and make sure to delegate tasks to the right team members. Over time, you will want to be able to reflect on the changes that have been made and whether these changes are actively contributing to helping you achieve your ideal results. to download HubSpot Crisis Management and Communication Kit today!
2. Determine current and potential problems.
Identifying the issues that hamper your company’s communication efforts is the first and most important step in developing a solid communication strategy. Start by asking questions like: Are we experiencing communication problems internally or externally? If it is external, is it carried out in all communication channels with the client or in a specific team or department? If internal, is it a company-wide problem or a specific team or department? Is there a specific problem that comes up constantly? If so, what is that problem? What are the issues that are not consistent, but still challenging? Ideally, the more questions you ask, the more you can clearly identify areas for improvement that will influence your overall strategy. If you have difficulty asking questions, reach out to team members within your company and / or your customers. You can issue surveys, start organic conversations in the office or via social media, schedule one-on-one meetings, whatever you think will get the most relevant responses. When there are issues that directly affect the company’s employees or customers, people are more willing to provide feedback. It is also possible that someone is already working to find a solution to some of the problems they will identify, which brings us to the next step.
3. Select the key stakeholders to be involved.
Now that you’ve asked the right questions, you need to make sure you involve the right people to help you carry out the construction of your communication strategy. If you’re in a smaller organization, they may be the only person you need on your team. However, for larger organizations, you will most likely want to include a few of your co-workers to help you divide and conquer. The selection of people to participate should relate directly to the biggest challenges that you identified in your list of questions. If your most pressing challenge is customer related, you may want to include someone from your organization’s customer service or customer success team. If there is a problem with how a product or service is advertised or sold, include a representative from your marketing or sales team. You’ll also want to make sure that the right members of the leadership team are in the know and as involved as necessary. This way, if you end up wanting to make major changes to the company, such as buying a new tool or restructuring teams, the leadership will already be aware of what is happening. If your coworkers are maxed out and don’t have the bandwidth to help you, or the issues are bigger than expected, you may want to hire an outside agency or consultant to help your business. For example, if you are dealing with a major external communications crisis, you may consider hiring a public relations agency. In general, use your best judgment in selecting who will participate, and make sure that their participation relates directly to the specific challenges you have identified.
4. Understand your audience.
Understanding your audience is pretty simple. The audience is internal (i.e. your co-workers and the company as a whole), external (i.e. your customers, shareholders, etc.), or a combination of both. From there, you can be more specific: are you targeting the entire company? Are you targeting a certain department or team? Are you targeting all customers? Are you targeting only certain customers? If so, can you segment by buyer persona or buyer journey stages? It’s important to take the time to fully understand who your audience is, so that you are really speaking to them in a way that is well received. Once you know who your audience is, you can use the audience information to inform all stages of the development of your communication strategy.
5. Think about your ideal results and then work backwards.
This is when you use all the information you’ve gathered to come up with what your ideal outcome will be. This is a high-level goal to be achieved by implementing a well thought out plan. If your company has struggled with communication regarding events, an ideal result could be to improve internal alignment and provide clarity to clients. Alternatively, if you find that employees in your company feel that it is difficult to express their ideas or opinions, your goal might be to ensure that all employees feel heard by developing a specific feedback system. Regardless of what you specify as the ideal result, keep it simplified so that anyone can easily understand it. It should carry weight because you are tackling challenges, but it shouldn’t be too complex either. Think of it as the central mission or vision statement of your communication strategy. Details will come later. Developing an effective strategy is a process, and it may take several tries before discovering what works best. However, it is a necessary investment to ensure that you are communicating clearly in the best possible way. See How to Write an Effective Communications Plan [+ Template] Y download HubSpot’s free communication template to begin to achieve all the objectives of your communication strategy.