Embarking on a communications strategy is a great step forward for many SMEs when it comes to marketing themselves to a wider audience.
Oftentimes for a website or branding job we meet a client for the first time prior to the job with a comms strategy we usually have a good working relationship with our clients because we have usually completed one of the aforementioned projects; but if not we always like to have a meeting to make sure we are a suitable match for each other.
Vision Blueprint. (The Why!)
Understanding your overarching vision and objectives for the communications is a vital part of the process. Understanding the why is vitally important because this will help determine how of your communications will integrate into the various other business and marketing initiatives and help improve the effectiveness and measurability of performance overall.
Strategy (The When!)
Strategy (The When!)
Now for many the above might seem like a strategy…. But we believe forming a general direction is NOT a strategy. Rather it defines the goal and why it is important to undertake the (project or) communications in the first place.
The strategy itself we see as prioritizing:
• Where and
• What – to undertake to achieve “the why!”
And the concept of a strategy may not be overarching – so in the context of communications – that strategy may be broken down in specified sub-strategies if you will; that specifically define and attempt to maximize the effectiveness of a specific channel, media or communication type.
Depending on your sector and industry, the perception and role of communications or indeed digital more broadly might be different also… So strategy for us is very much a tool we use to establish how to achieve the vision relative to the specific nature of your business.
The process is can take anything from a couple of hours right through to a few weeks depending on the scale of the project. it will entail defining a scope of work, scheduling and budget deep dive
As part of any project defining the budget is important to make sure that the goals and modes of delivery and generation are realistic. We don’t want to use an army when a special op will do.
Scope of work
We work together to come up with what needs to be delivered, how and by whom.
Planning Phase (The Who!)
The strategy will define what must be achieved and the scope of work, Planning focuses on how to achieve it in the timeline & budget defined as part of the strategy as well as who will be undertaking the various aspects of the project
Timeline & Calendar Planning
“‘Timeline & Calendar Planning?’ I here you say”; let’s not get bogged down in semantics but yes they are very different in regards to this process – we will set a timeline with you to get all the pieces ready to commence communicating and the calendar planning is where we get granular about which days will we be touching base with your base and how.
Deep Dive & Content planning
Questionnaires, workshops, meetings whatever is required for this job we will have a comprehensive fact finding mission. This will help us define what is best for you and the project. Whether we would suggest a professional eDM and LinkedIn based strategy or multi-layered approach with various touch points receiving separate yet correlated content ready for cross channeling.
We’ve built the building now it’s time to start filling the wings with some masterpieces.
Round of amends
All the hard work has been done and we are ready to press send on your first communiqué – Do it!
Review and Analyse
Sorry did I say all the hard work was done in the last point… I lied, sorry about that. A communications strategy is in a constant state of flux. With great strategists, designers and writers the content produced will entice your customer base but it’s now time to lather rinse repeat, or more rather review analyse and repeat.
We will look at what worked, what didn’t and what overachieved so we can tweak messaging to improve.
Depending on the strategy there will be scheduled reviews, as well as content planning and delivering peppered throughout the lifetime of the project.
The content plan will be flexible enough to move with the reviews but also with the external environment – it might be in bad taste for a big bank to launch their Share the wealth campaign the day after a rate drop wasn’t past on.