Communication Strategy: A business Approach
June 18, 2013 Leave a comment
Communication strategies are the strategies and ways to communicate information related to a specific issue, event, situation, or audience. They serve as the blueprint for communicating externally (with the public and stakeholders) and internally (colleagues and staff members). It is something that cannot be taught but comes through experience. A good communication strategy can make the toughest and most complicated tasks easy to crack. A good communication strategy includes:
an outline of the objective – the reason for the communication
identification of stakeholders
definition of key messages
identification of potential communication methods
an outline of the mechanisms used to obtain feedback on the strategy
It is not necessary that communication strategies have to be formal written documents. It could simply be a brainstorming session for a problem or issue and determining the best approach for communicating the key message or information. It may involve time to consider communication options best suited to a particular problem. Such an approach is feasible when the issues are simple and have not generated a high level of public concern. However, the simple approach is not advisable in more serious scenarios. In the case of issues that are more controversial, a more formal written strategy may be needed to ensure that all those concerned are reached and key messages are communicated in an effective and timely manner.
A communication strategy does not replace a marketing strategy, but rather shares a cooperative relationship with both the marketing strategy and the overarching business strategy.
The business strategy is generic. It outlines the desired outcome and objectives whether financial or otherwise. The marketing strategy is the supporting hand to the business strategy. It serves to aid the achievement of goals by outlining strategies that promote the call to action. It brings together all the other strategies, one of which is communications.
The marketing strategy focuses on the objective as a whole, while the communication strategy focuses on some of the smaller details necessary to creating that part. Because of that, the communication strategy is closely tied to tactics.
While preparing a communication strategy it is important to keep the following points in mind:
The strategy should typically involve written communication although the strategy is becoming much broader.
Today’s communication strategist should consider other forms of communication, including visual and audio.
While the communication strategy may not be wholly responsible for those components, it does have to work in tandem with other strategies.
A communication strategy, then, is one of many components of the marketing strategy. It focuses on the smaller elements, often the written ones, which bring about success for the larger ones. Its purpose is simple: it supports the marketing strategy, thus supporting the business strategy.