A friend of mine recently told me of a trip they took. One they will not soon forget.
“I had the car filled up with gas,” she said. “I had snacks and a great playlist. I put on my seatbelt, checked the mirrors, tied on a blindfold so I couldn’t see, put the car in drive, and away I went!”
All I could do was stare at her.
When I finally pulled myself together, thankful that she was standing in front of me alive and well, I asked, “Where on earth did you end up?”
“Oh!” she said. “Not where I intended to go, that’s for sure.”
Still puzzled, I said, “Well, what did you do next?”
She said, “Well, I stopped the car. Took off the blindfold, and then entered the destination I knew I wanted to go into my GPS. Then I followed the instructions. Oh, and of course, this time I did it without the blindfold.”
Okay, so this story is far fetched, and thankfully I don’t have friends who drive like this, but we do have business and organizational leaders come to us all the time who have been “driving blindfolded” when it comes to their communications.
Not having a communications strategy is a lot like driving blindfolded and here’s why.
When you have a communications strategy, you understand the outcomes you want to achieve from your communications. Perhaps your strategy includes building your company’s brand or reputation. Maybe you are wanting to increase awareness for what you do to attract potential ideal people to apply to work for you. Whatever the outcomes are, clearly understanding your communications outcomes first will help you build a communications game plan so you not only have a better chance of getting where you want to go, but you will also know when you’ve truly arrived.
Forgoing a communications strategy is driving blindfolded – you’re not likely to end up where you want, and without using the tools and techniques you have available to you, you could end up wasting a lot in time and money backing things up to start over.
Need a communications strategy? Start with these steps:
STEP ONE: write down two to three outcomes you want to achieve through communications.
EXAMPLE: we want to be seen as a thought leader.
STEP TWO: develop metrics or measurables for success so you know better when you’ve achieved your outcomes.
EXAMPLE: we will develop a thought leadership blog article each quarter and publish it where our target audience will read it ie: magazine, newspaper, online blog forum. From this work, our further longer-term goals are to be invited to speak at a conference and a “go to” expert for media and others in our industry to call upon us for our insight.
When developing your outcomes, consider your communications and how you will effectively communicate to your internal stakeholders (your Board of Directors, customers, clients, patients, guests, as well as your colleagues, co-workers, and collaborators) plus your external stakeholders (your community, media, donors, volunteers, supporters, etc…).
Even taking the time to consider steps one and two will help you at least take off the blindfold and do a better, more intentional job of communicating. If you are looking to build a communications strategy, we have helped many clients just like you communicate more effectively and confidently to reach their outcomes, customers like:
Reach out to us. Let us help you take the blindfold off of your communications.
Aleece >> firstname.lastname@example.org