Home' micenet eMag : micenet AUSTRALIA February March 2015 Contents MARKETING COMMS | FELICITY ZADRO
he start of any New Year is the
perfect time to stop and reflect on
your successes (and failures – let’s
be honest) of your business or
event and its related marketing efforts in the
year gone by. It is also the perfect time to
prepare your strategic communications plan
so you can take charge and gain control over
your year ahead.
So, before you file this thought in your ‘I’ll
get to that one day’ pile consider this: How
much has your business or events you
manage changed over the last 12 months?
More importantly, how much does it need to
change? What do you need your clients and
prospects to know about your business or
event? How soon?
There are many ways to develop a
strategic communications plan. Here are my
top seven tips to creating one effectively:
1 Know why you are doing it. If you want
a communications plan to tick a box,
you won’t use it, and if you aren’t going
to use it, don’t bother. Strategically
planning your communications is a
significant piece of work that requires
attention and a strong intent by the
leadership team. They are business-
critical to creating solid foundations and
understanding and communicating your
vision to your key audiences and need
the leader’s support and involvement.
You know you need to, and you know you should, but will you put
off developing your strategic communications plan in 2015?
THE 7 RULES
2 Build consensus and save money and time. So much of our working life is spent in
meetings and getting approvals. One of the greatest outcomes of a good communications
plan is getting the key people together in one room, listening, and then all agreeing on a
direction. This consensus ensures that everyone can work on their designated objectives
while heading in the same direction. If you are looking for efficiency gains in your business,
develop a communications plan because it will save your organisation an enormous
amount of time and effort.
3 Bring in a third-party facilitator. You don’t cut your own hair, so you shouldn’t try and see
your business objectively – because you can’t. And, if you can’t, you won’t get the plan
you need. An objective strategic planning facilitator will establish the focus and desired
outcome of the session, keeping everyone on track and encourage involvement from the
whole team, enabling dynamic and constructive discussion.
4 Think strategically rather than just tactically. Take the blinkers off and use facts and statistics,
not assumptions, and ensure your strategy has a realistic implementation plan. Preparation
prior to the strategy session is essential; define what resources you have available, be aware
of current market conditions, and know what your competitors are doing.
5 Focus on tomorrow, not just today. Don’t get caught up on the need to achieve everything
NOW. Looking to the future and asking the tough questions like, ‘Where do you see the
business in five years?’ allows you to create a future roadmap for the business.
6 Involve the team (or representatives from all areas of the business). Involving your team in
the strategic planning process helps to create a bond, improve internal culture and morale.
By understanding and being part of the bigger picture, employees feel reassured and
confident in the longevity of the business, and valued as a contributor to its direction and
success. I always recommend you have your organisational ‘nay-sayer’ in the room, for
through the process they will come on-board and often become a great advocate for the
7 Be proactive not reactive. A communications plan doesn’t just happen once a year. Regularly
following up on the strategic plan is imperative to ensure the business achieves its goals in a
timely and effective manner. Monthly team meetings, inclusive of quarterly strategic reviews,
allows for an efficient check of responsibilities, actions, adjustments and achievements. m
Felicity Zadro is the founder and managing director of Zadro, a strategic communications agency.
Contact Felicity via: www.zadroagency.com.au
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