As we enter 2015, it’s time to share some advice from the experts at ENC. Here are five potential goals we recommend you set as resolutions for your strategic communication success this year, so your organization can more effectively reach its target audiences and drive action:
Make metrics first
Spend the few extra bucks and minutes it takes to get benchmark data before you start any new marketing, advertising or PR initiative — how will you know what worked if you don’t know where you started? If you use an agency, you might be hesitant to pay them to analyze data out of fear of failure or tightness of budget. But it’s worth the long-term ROI to see where you’re finding success regularly, not just at the end of an engagement.
Have realistic PR goals, and message your story concisely
Everything you have to say isn’t news or interesting to enough people to get picked up. That’s just reality. In order to have true PR success, build your strategy and communication from the ground up. Trying to pull a media message out of a report or event that never had one in it to begin with is usually ineffective. Avoid the hesitation to include everything you have to say on a subject all at once. It won’t make anyone think you’re more fascinating. It’s usually much more compelling to be able to explain your value in a short, simple way. Sell one message at a time and see how effective it can be.
Take on only what you can handle
It can be tempting to try to launch a big PR campaign or engage an agency to execute a regular video series complemented by a dozen other assets. You want to make an impact. But quite often it seems organizations engage an agency for more than they have time to manage. An agency can be a great asset and can do a lot for you independently — but at the end of the day, clients give feedback and approvals. And when they don’t give it the time it deserves, costs go up and results go down. It’s better to do one thing really well than a dozen things only halfway.
Social media posts, website campaigns, blog posts, discussion board updates, press releases… the list goes on. But do you have a master editorial calendar with every tactic integrated as part of a larger strategy to address all the right audiences with a specific message? If not, there’s no time like the present. Eliminate self-induced noise and amplify your brand with fully aligned communication.
Remember — employees matter
Don’t get so caught up in your customer-focused marketing that you entirely forget about internal communication. Employees are the on-the-ground, face-to-face people who customers and potential customers interact with most. People buy from people. If your employees don’t know your marketing message by heart, and if they aren’t enthusiastic about the brand, it’ll show. Employee communication that is grounded in visible proof points and corporate transparency will go a long way toward long-term business growth.
We at ENC wish you a safe and happy new year and look forward to working with you.