Are your people fans of your comms?
People have all sorts of choices now. Just think about the amount of creative, clever and interesting content you see in a single day. Everyone can decide what to read and watch... and what to ignore.
To make your employees fans of your comms you need to know what they find interesting and what’s working for them.
When did you last check what's making people fans? Is your strategy working? Is it driving the action you want? Do they love your content and can’t wait for more? Are you wasting your time on anything?
If you’re not sure, it could be time for a comms audit.
Regular communication audits can give you an objective view and help you to reset the course of your comms strategy.
What makes a good comms audit?
Focus. You need to be clear about exactly why you need to do it, who’s going to read the results and sponsor any change. Often an audit will uncover some things about leadership, so it’s essential HR are involved. Engage your stakeholders upfront so they’re bought in to the process and potential recommendations.
Impartiality. It can be really hard to mark your own homework. And if you’re holding focus groups or interviewing (which you should), people will be more honest with a third party. If you can’t outsource this maybe your HR team can help?
Resource plan. Think about how much time and resource you have and how you’ll use it.
Careful questions. Don’t fall into the trap of asking questions that are too broad – like ‘where do you find things out?’ – be more specific. Include questions to find out satisfaction, efficiency, effectiveness and outcome.
A good look back. Dig out all of your content from the last 6 or 12 months. Analyse what worked well based on your measurement. Then critique the content against a set of criteria – like how long it takes to read/watch, how entertaining is it, what action it drives etc.
Data. Send a survey to a broad range of people (locations, levels, roles, teams). Also collect your comms measurement stats.
A good chat. Dig behind the data with focus groups and interviews. Pick some typical content and then ask people what they like and don’t like. Also find out the amount of time people realistically have to engage in comms and how the channels fit into their day.
Evaluation. Create a simple report summarising your findings and recommendations, with actions split into quick wins and longer-term activity, like investing in new channels. Include a clear delivery path for each recommendation.
Every communicator has been up against a goal to ‘just get it out’. Pressures can mean there’s no time to refine your content, really think about the audience, or do anything but the norm.
The evaluation from your audit can help you to explain what you already know – great communication doesn’t just happen.
The bonus feature is that you’ll hear some first-hand praise for your work. In every audit I’ve done people talk about the great things as well as giving valuable insight to reset your course.
Need some help?
We can help you to audit your comms. Whether that’s a short review of your content and channels or an in-depth piece of research including focus groups and interviews.
Chat to us to see what’s right for you. firstname.lastname@example.org