Six tips to create a solid communication strategy

Is your communication strategy delivering the messages you really mean convey? Are your communications filled with insider jargon that no one outside the business really “gets”?

Perhaps you just don’t know how to start, or don’t know how to unravel what you have in place today?

Read about our own journey and discover the five major items to address to get your communication strategy on the right path.

We know how it is. You’re busy. Hey, we’re busy too. You know you need to do something but what? And how?

How to jump-start a tired forward facing marketing effort when you are pressed for time and ideas? Or is your “communication strategy” really just a hodge-podge of stuff that’s accumulated over time? We know that feeling!

Earlier in 2016 Broadcast Projects itself had a complete “reset” moment. We decided to focus our best efforts into doing what we do best, and what we best like to do. Accordingly, our website, messaging and social media efforts shifted. Our main focus today is on communication and design services to the broadcast and technology sector.

Instead of acting purely as a network of consultants for project-based work (although we still do that), we decided to focus on what gives us the most joy, combining our strengths in strategic business development support, UI/UX design, marketing, writing and visual communication.

Interested to learn how we refocused the communication strategy and design for Broadcast Projects? Take note of the steps we employed. Maybe they can help you too. Then, tell us if you think we did a good job.

Number 1: Website Design

– it’s not just about good graphic design, it’s also about coding it right, and maintaining the systems in a way that they won´t break down. WordPress plugins? Good luck managing them! Sure, there are loads of other free software platforms out there too, if you have the time and the bandwidth for the learning curve, go for it. But if you want a pro as your web-design partner, someone who is both a graphic designer and a web developer in their own right, and a UI/UX pro working actively in the broadcast and technology sectors, visit this website right now, and don’t look back. Oh, and did we mention….

Number 2: Corporate Identity

– this the glue that keeps it all together. If your messages are mixed, if the design and logos are not consistent, if you are using a jumble of fonts, clip arts, and “found” images to patch your presentations together, the impression is going to be confusing. Let us clue you in on a secret. The common catchphrase, “fake it until you make it,” really applies here. Even if nothing else makes sense, the corporate identity is the key driver of a coherent image for your brand, which of course, has a story….

Number 3: Copywriting

– well, this is where crafting the message becomes very important. These first three items together are absolute essentials. The first thing we’ll do is ask you for an in-depth briefing. We will then create a project brief that you will have a chance to review. We’ll spend a lot of time talking, to gain an understanding your business and your goals. That’s initially a job for you, since you cannot outsource entirely without still being involved. Right?

If you cannot separate the wheat from the chaff, we might assist you in the process to uncover the story of your brand. It will help to understand the vision you have for your company and the tone that needs to be set. Examples of what you like and don’t like helps inform the process greatly.

Then, there will be drafts, and then more drafts to be refined each step of the way. Specific feedback is always more welcome than a vague remark such as “no I don´t like it”. Your collaboration in this process is essential. In our case, we decided, first, about the new focus for Broadcast Projects. We then set about changing up the copy, keeping a small amount of the old, simplifying greatly, and bringing in a few new elements. Because we believe that pictures and graphics greatly  help carry the load of communication, we refreshed these on our site. In our case, we didn’t have a whole group of people to weigh in on the process. Certainly, it took more than a few months to focus on the idea. Once clear, execution became much easier.

Number 4: Blog

– it is interesting to note that marketing “success”  these days is often judged in terms of your participation in social media, and having all of these elements hang together.  It is assumed that everyone who can write, will write. It simply is not so.

Without the focus and clarity of vision that comes with defining your brand, a blog will be a real stretch, and it is a huge commitment. Of course, you can outsource it, but the brief had better be really clear. There is nothing like writing it yourself, however, with a bit of reasoned discipline. At minimum one post a month about a new product or service, or a case study, or opinion, will go a long way towards generating traffic for your website. Because a static website, one that never changes, is a dead website. And a dead website does not do anything for you, no matter how beautiful it may be. You have to get the word out there, which leads me to…

Number 5: Social Media

– love it or hate it, the main reason to use social media is to draw traffic to your website. Of course, it reinforces your overall communication strategy, messaging and your brand. But there are easy ways to manage social media than you may realise. We know, because we learned the really hard way, spending about 4 years reading practically every free “do-it-yourself” blog post out there on the topic. That is why we now offer a “lean marketing” course for consultants and creatives. Let us help you simplify, greatly, this item so you can address it confidently and with minimal effort and hassle. We’ll open the kimono on this one, and let you in on all the secrets, which of course, relies very heavily on contacts, which brings us to ….

Number 6: Your Mailing List and Regular Newsletter

– again we learned this the really hard way. Getting people to your site is one thing. But then you have to learn how to analyze the traffic. Bounce rates? Astronomical! Yikes!! The trick is to give people a reason to come back. We all know the sites that suck us in immediately, because those are the ones we are readily willing to give up our email addresses to, in return for…. something.

So this is the trick. To have well-designed offers and landing pages on your website (which takes you full circle back to point 1), and a way to get people to opt-in to your mailing list? Why? Because those are the folks who want to stay in contact with you, and with whom you can begin to build a relationship. Of course, it has to be well-crafted.

If you are selling Porsche’s and your landing pages are clients who want cheap cars, the reasons could be because of the design, because of the messaging, or because it is confusing. In that’s case, having one million people opt-in to your mailing list is never going to help you.

We understand that it is a lot. It’s also a lot for us. We know this from experience. You also have to put out press releases, cultivate relationships, manage your sales operation and the entire rest of your business.

In the end, it’s not just about good graphic design, or writing or a good strategy – all are a must. We believe that the real trick in defining an optimal communication strategy is finding people that you can trust, who know your business, and are willing to get fully engaged in a constructive relationship. Moreover, they had better enjoy doing it, as we do! We hope we are that team. Contact us if you want to learn more.