Three big things strategic communications planning can do for your company

Three big things strategic communication planning can do for your company

Author: Michelle M. Bassett | Date: Sep 22, 2020

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Your customers and employees are watching what you say, but more than that, they are watching what you do. Your words matter, but your actions are louder, particularly during challenging times.

Many companies work hard to plan their public relations and marketing. Some are good at integrating those messages across their website, social messages, news releases, and other public forums. But few work to mesh those words with the actions that are happening across the organization. The result? Fragmented communication that can inadvertently pull your company further from your strategic goals, and over time, breed mistrust.

We trust a company when we think that they will act in our interest consistently. If a company says one thing on their website or advertising, but their customer service department or their operations are doing another, it’s a red flag. Trust erodes.

Here are three things that strategic communication planning can do for your company:

  1. Align your company in its totality around your strategic goals: Strategic communication planning involves considering your company in its entirety – your company’s actions, its culture, its messages, the images it sends out, its physical appearance, and the strength of your service – and aligns them so that they are all pointed towards your strategic goals and you are better able to make one unified, and subsequently louder, sound. When every department is aligned around the same goal, what’s important becomes more obvious; as does how the company must look, sound, and respond to keep moving towards its goals.
  2. Connect your employees with your mission: Strategic communication planning also isn’t focused exclusively on what you say and do to external audiences, but to your employees as well. When employees feel that they are a part of an authentic, and aligned company, they are more likely to become ambassadors of it. They are also more likely to feel a sense of ownership of the mission and empowered to speak up if they see something going in the wrong direction.
  3. Be better prepared for crisis communication needs: We would all prefer to avoid a crisis altogether, but a part of strategic communication planning is thinking through what risks you face as a part of doing business and how you will protect your company’s brand and reputation should something go awry. Strategic communication planning includes crisis communication planning, and risk management planning, which makes it more likely that your company can prevent a crisis situation from happening or be ready to handle it if it does.

These are big picture benefits, but they can mean the difference between a company having staying power – or flashing out when lightning strikes. 

Let us help you start your strategic communication plan today.

Where do you fall on the BS Meter detection scale?

Where do you fall on the BS Meter detection scale?

Author: Leland K. Bassett | Date: July 8, 2020

Crisis communication needs can bring out the best – and the worst – in leaders and organizations.

Everything leaders say and do, especially in crisis, is being filtered by receivers of your message and observers of your behavior. It’s their perception – more than your intent – that determines the meaning and effects of your communication.

A sense that you are being authentic – that what you say pairs with what you do – is valued now more than ever, particularly with your internal team.

We know from human communication behavior research, and practical experience, that perception is greater than reality. The receiver of your message determines what it means to them; and that may very well not be the same as you intended.

Effective leaders must have enough confidence in themselves to build a climate of personal and professional safety so that the people they depend on can feel secure enough to be real. Feeding BS to your team may seem to buy time at that moment, but it is destructive over time.

Asking yourself and your organization where you fall on the BS Meter Scale is a helpful starting point.

Each of us develops a BS meter over time. Its sensitivity can vary depending on life experiences. But you can be sure; it is there in your customers, clients, suppliers and team members (employees). They know when you’re spinning a message, or avoiding sharing uncomfortable or disappointing information.

All BS achieves is an increasingly foul smell and the spoiling of your relationships.

Effective crisis communication demands openness, honesty, transparency, authenticity and empathy.

How do you score yourself; gold medal, silver, bronze, or not even close to the stand?