Gong playback speed:
A strategic communications plan can help you communicate your message to the right people at the most opportune time. By implementing 4 key steps, you can put together a concrete strategy that could drive more success for your business and bring about your desired results in less time.
What is Strategic Communication?
Does this phrase sound familiar, “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it?” The statement is so true. What you say is JUST AS important as how you say it. And that is called Strategic Communication.
If you have taken a class in Strategic communication in the past, you probably may have learned that “Strategic Communication is communicating the best message, through the right channels, measured against well-considered organizational and communications-specific goals.” And this is great.
Strategic communication is communicating with purpose by showcasing value in order to achieve a goal.
At the heart of it all, Strategic communication seeks to help you evoke specific responses from your target audience. And from those responses arrives what you need out of the situation.
By Strategic communication, you are by no means seeking to manipulate your target audience. No. By Strategic Communication, you create a mutually beneficial situation to allow both parties to feel like they are getting what they want out of the deal without feeling manipulated.
4 Strategic Communication Steps
1. Define your Goal
Obviously, if you know your final destination, you know which routes will lead you there. In other words, “if you know which routes to take, then automatically, you know which routes to avoid.” What is it that you want to achieve at the end of the conversation? Defining a clear goal before anything else will keep you on track.
By defining your goal, you ensure that the right people hear your message when they are ready and in a way that you want them to hear it. Your communication goals and objectives should be able to answer these questions:
- Who do I need to reach?
- Why do I need to reach them?
- What will my communications say?
- How will I deliver this message at a time that will have the best impact on my audience (and on me)?
- What channels are best suitable for delivery?
2. Understand your audience.
Through research, get to know your audience, their values, and what type of partnerships or brands they would want to align themselves with. Target audiences can vary from one time to another and may include your customers, employees, or even the media.
Define who needs to hear what is happening in your organization or with your brand. Every communications plan is different, hence it should never be one-size-fits-all. It’s a good idea to create an audience map that identifies key audiences and the messages they need to hear about your organization or cause in order for them to take action.
3. Communicate the Value.
Present your idea or what you have in a way that is mutually beneficial to you and your audience or client. Let them understand what they stand to get or lose. What value will the interest of both parties have with one another? Your communications strategy provides the framework for the company’s outreach activities, including what needs to get out there through communication channels like social media, email marketing, blog posts, video content on YouTube or Vimeo and so on.
The more specific you are with your messaging (and visuals) — even if it seems repetitive — the better your chances of getting your audience engaged and taking action are.
4. Express the Need.
After going through the process of defining your goal, understanding your audience or client, and communicating value, it’s just about the right time to express the Need but this time with some urgency. Feed on the Values that you and your audience both share to express the Need that you both want. An ideal approach to this could be using data, metrics, or graphical illustrations to drive home your point by creating relatable pictures in the minds of your audience.
By going through the 4 strategic communication steps outlined above, you are able to Combat the Resistance commonly felt when people are communicating through challenges.
Usually, the reason why people are faced with a lot of resistance in the way that they are communicating is that they are skipping these 4 steps or at least one of them. For example, if you don’t identify the goal, you end up communicating without purpose.
Have you ever been in conversations where you started off one way but it ended another and you’re trying to figure out how you even got there?
You obviously didn’t define your goal.
Strategic Communication is probably the very thing you’ve been needing the entire time to help you get what you need out of life
Most people stop going after the bigger things that they want out of life simply because they’re just not getting it. But what they don’t realize, is that they are causing some sort of resistance in the way that they are communicating that is not helping them to get what they want out of life.
Ever been in a situation where no matter how much you talked and talked and expressed to someone your viewpoint, they were just not getting it? And no matter how much you tried to change your approach and your delivery, they still could not understand your viewpoint? At the heart of it all, always remember “It’s not just what you say. What you say is just as important as how you say it”