Make your voice heard
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We constantly communicate with our clients and stakeholders. But is the style and frequency of that communication useful to our audience, or tailored to getting repeat business and acquiring new clients?

By having a communications strategy, current, former and potential clients will stay engaged with our brand. We build a relationship of trust and loyalty – and communicate with the right people at the right time. Ultimately, we stay ‘top of mind’.

Regardless of how we do it – direct mail, Twitter, e-newsletter, marketing brochure – every point of contact is an opportunity to bring the promises behind our brand to the forefront of the mind.

A communications strategy need not be complex, but there are a few important things to consider:

Target audience
With whom do you communicate (or want to communicate)? Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can tailor your communications to suit their needs.

What do they need to know? This will impact your key messages.

How do they communicate? This will determine the medium, frequency and style of language used.

By segmenting your database, you can tailor your communications to specific audiences.

Messages        
What do you want to get across to your audience, and what do they need to know? Is it what makes you unique, or why your audience should engage with you? It could simply add value through advice or education.

Your messages and language should reflect your brand and your objectives, and above all, have a purpose. They should be crafted carefully and strategically – even for social media.

Above all, your messages must be relevant – otherwise your audience will disengage.

Language and tone
Your ‘style’ of communication should reflect the personality of your brand and the needs of your audience.

Do your readers expect a formal, informal or persuasive edge to your material? Is your product technical? Will your readers understand your terminology? And do you respect their knowledge?

A message that is clear and concise ensures you won’t lose your readers.

Consistency
Each time you ‘touch’ a client, you communicate your brand.

It goes without saying that clients should be exposed to the same look-and-feel (design, colour, logo etc) each time contact is made, but consistency in language and messaging is also important. Readers should get the same feeling of confidence through every channel of communication.

A style guide can keep you focused on your key messages and language.

Timing
A successful communications strategy strikes that subtle balance that keeps you ‘top of mind’ without being annoying. It will nurture and sustain your relationship with clients, and keep them engaged and interested in your work.

Develop key messages and points of contact around a calendar of key dates that are relevant to your business and that of your audience. This may include monthly educational newsletters, daily Twitter feeds, appeals to acquire supporters for a gala dinner, or Christmas cards.

 

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One Response to “How to communicate strategically”

  1. Great article!

    Reply