Strategy is a plan of action designed in a way to achieve a particular vision. Communication strategies are the programs or the ideas that are used to communicate information related to a specific issue, event, situation etc. to the other people. Most of us think that these are some kind of written documents but it is not so, rather communication strategies are simply the way we think about a problem or an issue and the way we use to sort out that problem. The best way to plan any communication strategy is to first know the reason behind formulating any strategy. Most importantly, different types of communication strategies are formulated to develop good and effective Communication Skills to meet core organizational objectives.
The points need to be kept in mind while making a communication strategy include:
Statement Of Purpose
A more effective way to lay down the communication strategy involves the upfront way of saying things. Rather than giving the detailed description in the statement area, it must be simple, precise in a way that it acts as a reminder for those making use of it at work.
After the brief outline of the introductory part, there comes the current situation area. In this section, one needs to write about the very situation that the company is in and mainly three tools of analysis do that. One is the PEST analyses, which entails Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors. The other is the SWOT analyses, which constitutes of Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. In addition, the last is the Competitor analysis, whereby one identifies its competitors and accordingly ranks them following a certain criteria.
Organizational and Communicational Objectives
In this section, strategies for overall objectives, core aims and communication plans of the organization needs to be jotted down. While listing the communication objectives, one must clarify that how the communication can help them achieving the organizational goals.
Identifying The Stakeholders
This area involves an inline description of both the internal as well as the external audiences, which include public, politicians, users, staff and various other people. There are numerous audiences that will need your service but here in this section, what one needs to focus on is how to prioritize the work, which means what kind of people need to be taken into account first.
After selecting audience from different categories, the next task is to change the objectives into the messages that can be conveyed further to the people in a meaningful manner. The content of the message must be relevant and continuous such that it gives a clear preview of what you want to say rather than confusing the people.
Key Communication Methods
Indicating the appropriate and necessary channels of communication is the part of the effective communication strategy. The various methods of communication listed here can include e-bulletin, conference, workshop, leaflet, press release or more broadened methods like media and your website.
After enlisting all what you need, the next step is to make up a table indicating the major communication activities, budget and the resources that will be needed to conclude the plan of action or complete the whole task that you have formulated. The work plan must include the stipulated time scales and identify particular milestones within the strategy. Moreover, some of the specific and important projects, events or publications must be highlighted so that the important tasks to be done are on the priority.
Choice Of Strategy
This is the final stage of the strategy formulation process. After completing all the activities, the best in use strategy must be taken into account and then finally the work can be accomplished.
After formulating a strategy, it is essential that one ensure that the strategy has all the vital components or meets the standard that is needed to write a strategy. This includes that the strategy one has made, must outline the basic goals of communication, pinpoint the potential methods that are needed to make a strategy and lastly the mechanism of receiving the feedback on the strategy. However, it is not necessary that the strategic plan will always be successful.
Causes for Communication Strategy Failures
Firstly, leadership lacks a true and motivated leader, which is one of the major drawbacks. Due to the absence of an appropriate person who can lead through the whole project, all the goals, strategies or plans can be misaligned. Secondly, when there is no plan behind the idea, one needs to plan on how the strategy should be formulated. Thirdly, passive management, this means that one has made the perception that the things will get started on its own once formulated but it is not the right way. Taking things lightly, can devastate the whole process, So it is important that there is proper management. These are some hurdles that come in the way of efficient communication strategic planning.
Effective Communication Strategies
There must always be an open communication environment whereby all members feel free to communicate and only then can they move to plan an effective communication strategy.
This is the communication in which all the people are taken in the discussion. For example, in an organization it is important that all the employees are involved in the discussion process so that they do not feel left out and if the employees are not satisfied then it is not possible to figure out a good strategic plan.
Two Way Communication
Communication should never be a one-way process. A two-way communication is an efficient approach to the effective strategic planning. For an example, a company where the managers interacts with the employees in the discussion yield much better results than the one in which there is only one sided communication between the employees only.
Result Driven Process
Any of the plans we make must be result oriented. Especially in the organization, it is necessary that the strategies formed by the professionals must ensure positive results rather than just being a written strategy on a paper.
The message or the strategy that is formulated within the company or between any people is bound to reach out a huge crowd so it must be ensured that there are multiple channels to deliver that information as it will make an increase in the odds that the communication is received and understood. Some ways help communication strategies become a success rather than failure.
Types of Communication Strategies
In this kind of communication strategy, emphasis is laid on the fact that all the unnecessary elements be deleted from the strategy or if possible then avoided to the extent as possible. Further it consists of message abandonment and replacement whereby the semantics that are not correct can be replaced or completely removed to make the strategy more efficient.
This kind of communication strategies includes lexical substitution, generalization, exemplification, word coinage, literal transition and multiple others also. The basic aim behind this strategy is to include all the elements of communication that compose a successful strategy.
Marketing Strategies involve the plan that one need to make to promote the organization. In a competitive world, it is essential that the right promotion is done to take your organization to a next level in the market. This is why a good communication strategy needs to be formulated in the marketing scenario.
Advertising is a crucial part of any strategy. It involves taking the product to notice of the people or to the customer’s attention. Until and unless people are not aware of what is in the market they will not buy that particular product. Some of the ways to advertise are through pamphlets, banners, television advertisements, radio advertisements, website advertisements and multiple others.
It involves keeping a check on the ongoing activities for the public image. It is very much essential that the public image of the organization be good, because it is only then that the customers will be attracted towards your organization.
Promotion is the process for performing such activities that the company or the product is promoted in a way that it has good impact on the customers and not a negative impact.
Other kinds of communicational strategies include organizational strategy that is ideally reviewed annually, a major or a complex project, for example, the ROQ project. Others are the major announcements, Opening of a building, or any major announcements. Repair strategies, telegraphic, fillers and change of role are some other kinds of these strategies. Thus, a better communication strategy can always let you make better advancements in your organization as it is heart of any organization.
Benefits of a Good Communication Strategy
- Firstly, it enlists clear objectives. For example, if an owner of a company wants to know the reviews of the product launched by them, then they do not have to incur extra costs on it. This is the only thing that can help in this scenario i.e. the best communication strategy that clearly lists the ways to get reviews from a customer in a way that there are no extra costs to be imposed by the company. This will not only save time, but also help in taking your organization to better heights.
- Secondly, forging connections is another benefit that we get out of a good communication strategy. Like, a manager of a company has multiple tasks in his hand and he cannot read every document separately, then what can be done is appointment of some people particularly for this task. This will involve careful planning and delegation and ensure better results.
- Moreover, maintaining communication is an important part of the process because as complex the communication strategy will be, more will be the information blockages, but a well formulated communication strategy avoids blockages and make the communication process much smoother.
- Fourthly, we can consider the information dispersal. It is very important that the correct information reaches out the desired people only and not the ones where it is not desired to reach. Thus, a significant communication strategy will beforehand enlist the various ways in which the information reaches the right number of people.
- Another is staff morale and company image. A communication strategy that is made well will definitely avoid unnecessary arguments between people and will help boost the morale of the people or staff to do the work with more efficiency. The company image will itself go to a high standard if the work is done according to the desired strategy.
- The most crucial role of the communication strategy is to formulate the ultimate goals desired which involves the vision, which sets the context for various objectives rather than providing a structure for evaluation. To define an aim, this is useful in providing a centralized focus for more, detailed communication objectives. Lastly, the communication objectives that drive out the strategic decision-making process and deliver focus for evaluation.
An effective communication strategy can go a long way in the success of any organization as it sets the goals for the organization, targets the desired audience for the process, determines the necessary success metrics, compares it with other competitors and develops the most appropriate communication channels that are needed to deliver consistent messages to the desired public. Hence, the utmost goal behind planning any communication strategy is to influence the energy levels for change and improvement by keeping everyone focused on the main goals and priorities with providing necessary feedback on progress of the desired company or work area. When planned in an atmosphere of trust and openness, it gives much better results.