I’ve recently been thinking about what I was very busy doing this time last year and comparing it to some of the things I’m currently working on.
Last May I had just returned from a fascinating trip to Nigeria as part of my work as a Communications Consultant for the PATHS2 health project which is the largest international development programme currently being sponsored by the UK Government.
This project had an amazing reach in terms of the audiences it needed to communicate with – internal people delivering the project across five States within Nigeria, the Nigerian Government – both Federal and State, the UK Government, the UK taxpayer, other sponsors, stakeholders and NGOs and the millions of people in Nigeria whose lives are being impacted by the work of PATHS2.
Today I am working with a number of clients to look at their communications in terms of strategy, processes and delivery. Whilst none of these clients have such an extensive audience to reach, what has struck me is that the basics of what they need to do and how they need to do it is identical.
In fact, whether we’re working with an individual, a small business or a large international development project many of the basics of communication are the same. The size of the resources, the amounts at stake and the potential audiences may differ but all communications are based on a few simple, but important questions:
- What is your brand?
- What is your identity and personality?
- Who are your target audiences?
- What are the key messages you want to deliver to those target audiences?
- How do you communicate with them?
- What do you say and how do you say it?
- Where does the source material come from and how do you gather it?
- How do you resource any activities in the short and long term?
- How do you build brand awareness?
- How do you maintain and grow relationships with your customers or end-users?
- What are your ‘calls to action’? What do you want customers or end-users to do?
- How do you monitor, track and improve your communication activities?
This covers all forms of communication – from internal to external, marketing activities, written material, social media, etc. No matter how big or small you are in terms of size and reach, if you answer these questions, create a Communications Strategy around them and then follow it, your communications and marketing activities will be successful.