This year, my daughter Sophia is on the hunt to find the higher ed institution she will call home in less than two years. She has carefully curated our college visits and developed meticulous itineraries that ensure we not only maximize the campus tours but also spend time enjoying the city we’re visiting. I am in awe of the woman she is becoming and I am inspired by her ability to thoroughly develop, draft and implement a plan.
Whether or not you have children, you know kids are always teaching us things if we pay attention, and my daughter has taught me many lessons over the years. Her careful preparation and planning have made this process so much more enjoyable – and efficient! One thing I think we can all take away from Sophia’s college tours is the importance of planning and mapping out the journey in front of us.
When it comes to positioning yourself as the trusted communications advisor brands need, you must lead with questions and curiosity that will help you develop a strategic communications plan that closes gaps and finds opportunities.
I encourage you to start considering the following for your company or client:
🖊 How’s our SWOT?
What are our greatest strengths, weaknesses (internal), opportunities, and threats (external) right now? Where do we excel today? Can we adapt our business to ensure we’re always killin’ it in this way in the future? We are currently sucking at ____. What do we need to think about/do/change/stop to mitigate this in the future?
🖊 Who cares?
Which target audiences are totally diggin’ us right now? Who’s responding to our communications? Have we won over new, unexpected audiences? Why? How do we know? Are we losing any? Why? Who do we need to ensure we absolutely engage with excellence? What would that look like?
🖊 What’s resonating?
What messages have really made an impact in our various channels? How do we know? Have we gotten more strategic with our responses to current issues? Why? And if we have, how the heck do I ensure we replicate this so I never again have to silently scream when I see all the mixed messages we’re sending out into the marketplace?
🖊 What’s working?
Which channels have we managed with ease? Have we surprised ourselves by how well we’ve adapted to a new channel we’d never engaged? How might we creatively use this channel in the future? Is it a “fad,” or is there a real opportunity here?
The idea is to start the thinking process (which should naturally lead to a quest for data to find the answers to these and other questions you may have).
Communications pros always have a unique opportunity to re-imagine their work and step into the role of trusted advisor for their companies and clients. I have always found that communications planning impacts business decision-making. And that’s exactly what it should do!
Just like Sophia has impressed me and my husband with her planning skills (we are fully confident in her decision-making as a young adult), you will impress the brands you serve so they view you as the trusted advisor they never even realized they needed.
Download my planning document to help you as you develop strategic communications plans for the brands you serve. This tried-and-true framework will not only help you streamline your planning process, it will WOW your company or clients!