We all communicate. And we communicate a lot. But is our communication always effective? And: how do you create a communications plan within your constraints of budget and time? The answer: make sure your communications activities are relevant.
What is relevant? As the company or person who wants to achieve a certain goal, relevance may have a different meaning or value to you than to the people or organisations you reach out to. In communication it’s not just about sending messages you yourself think are relevant, it’s about understanding what is relevant to those you address. Best take a look at the picture below. You may have seen in before. Relevance is – in short – making sure that what you tell matches the interest of the ones you address, or touches or benefits them.
How to not lose your audience
During my Public Relations training – some time ago, let’s say before social media were invented – I learnt quickly how wrong it is to send messages, only for the sake of being present. It’s like going to a party with nothing to tell! Because of my background in journalism, I learnt (the hard way) that your readers will not stay with you don’t involve them. In other words: you’ll quickly lose your followers/readers/friends when what you tell or show them has no relevance to them or the relationship you have.
You’ll quickly lose your followers/readers/friends when what you tell them isn’t relevant to them!
Needless to say, social media have changed the communications landscape. When producing a continuous flow of hard-hitting content, using various platforms, influencers and online and mobile technology, the relevance may get lost quite easily. Social media marketeers and online content providers will tell you to produce as much content as possible. I don’t fully agree. I suggest you use a proper strategy to produce content that is relevant. This will improve the effectiveness of your communications efforts, short-term and long-term.
This is why, in my approach to communication, relevance is a key factor, integrated in my Communications Cycle.
The Communications Cycle
Are you making the right choices in who, how and when you target your communications activities? Alfred Jansen has handled numerous projects successfully (see Portfolio) and uses an approach based on these four pillars:
Communication begins with your organisation’s vision, reflecting all relevant aspects of the organisation, project and / or product. In order to develop a vision for your communication approach, Alfred Jansen uses a practical tool: the Manifesto.
Next step: the translation of your vision (Manifesto) into a targeted (internal and external) communication strategy. This is derived from the business strategy that you already have in place so you don’t need to reinvent it. Now it is time to focus the strategy in terms of results, movements and connections required to get your communication going. The communications plan is born.
A vital part of communication is a well-organised and consistent identity. You will be familiar with the terms ‘branding’ and ‘corporate identity’. Getting this right from the start of a project will increase involvement, motivation and effectiveness in any organisation. Externally but also inside your organisation.
You expect all communication efforts to deliver results. Production of communication tools – and the content on which these are based – has to be in sync with the previous steps. In addition, budget, planning and coordination of the communications plan are integral part of the process. Alfred Jansen produces tools and content. Read all about that on the Creative services page.
How does this all work out? Check out the Portfolio page!