Communications are critical for an organisation to thrive. Communication is defined as the conveying or exchanging of information either through speaking, writing or those of another medium. Communication tools vary. These can be via phone, face to face, collateral, satellite, email, social media, radio, you get it.
Communications can also include traditional advertising, PR, personal selling, viral advertising and any form of communication between the organisation and the consumer.
It is important to develop a Communications Strategy to ensure information flow to all of your intended stakeholders. For example you could be part of a sports association that needs to consistently communicate to players, referees, coaches, committee, volunteers, sponsors, councils, media, and supporters.
A Communications Strategy can either be an organisational holistic intent or a department of your organisation e.g. player development. It depends on what your requirements are at the time.
When structuring a Communications Strategy, objectives need to be articulated. These will then define your actual strategies/activities plan as well as making your plan target specific. Objectives need not be complicated. An example of an objective is to communicate with councils to ensure the information flow is effective, timely and consistent.
If you are structuring a Communications Strategy for various areas of your business then you should have objectives listed out for each and then your strategies/activities linked back to these.
There are many communication strategies/activities that you can use. Obviously these will be structured to your needs at the time as well as the particular area of your organisation you want to focus on with your communication initiatives.
An example iscould be building brand awareness and improving communications of the whole of your organisation through upbeat and active communication strategies. The following strategies/activities could be used:
- Generate widespread awareness in the community
- Maintain and reinforce profile
- Online and Social Media
- Redevelop online tactics
A table or spreadsheet can be put together articulating the following:
- Actual Strategy/Activity
Of course, modifications can be made over time, depending on your strategic and operational plans and the adjustments made to those which will give you the flexibility and nimbleness to run your organisation (that’s for another time to discuss!).
It is a good idea to have communications policies in place i.e. as an organisation you are clear about your policies governing the accountability for communications. This goes with the view of supporting each of your strategies/activities. An example could be that only your CEO, Coach and President of your Club can speak to the media and what topics can and cannot be discussed (can be a bit extreme I know).
Ultimately your policies are necessary to ensure your communications activities serve the best interests of your organisation and of every person involved in it. Examples of a matrix structure is:
- Policy Area
A Communications Strategy should be a priority for any organisation in any industry. It is imperative that communications are consistent, effective and informative.