Can you imagine a world without communication?
No hello good mornings.
No afternoon emails with Stephan’s latest idea on that upcoming campaign.
No what are you working on today?
For some, that might sound rather blissful (in fact, you might be deleting Marianne’s tenth “new recipe ideas” email as we speak, and we forgive you).
However, it would also be a lonely place to live, as some quickly found out during stretches of isolation during the pandemic. A place without creativity, values, personality, and connection.
Author John Powell once wrote: “Communication works for those who work at it”. Because communication sounds easy, right? You just open your mouth and speak. Or you type an email and hit send.
But the moment we realize words are the heart of our business – the bridge between you, your team and your community – we begin to put more thought into how we communicate. How we can truly share an idea or message with someone else and have them feel inspired or excited to get involved.
Not only should any effective form of business communications have an opening, a body, and a close (comms101) – you should also have a set of clear guidelines and goals to work towards in order to ensure information isn’t overlooked or misunderstood.
To help you achieve this, we’ve created a communications checklist every business should have as a foundation to ensure efficiency:
1. Tone of Voice Guidelines
Tone of Voice guidelines help you standardize company culture, values and personality. See our recent blog for why this matters. In a nutshell, it helps you understand what you should say – and how you should say it. Because these two things will impact how your message is perceived and what impact it will ultimately have on your audience.
2. A Strategy (how you will communicate)
Your communications strategy is a plan for communicating with your audience. It includes a detailed outline of who you are talking to, why you are talking to them, how you will talk to them, and what channels you will reach them on. This knowledge is key to building relationships and should be used by businesses, enterprises and personal brands of all shapes and sizes.
3. Clearly defined target audience
Although included in your strategy, we put this as a separate bullet point because it’s absolutely vital to your communications. It’s a step that can’t be missed, because it gives you all the information you need to know: who are you talking to, what they like, what they value, what information they’re interested in, and what they’re struggling with right now. If you try to talk to everyone, you end up talking to no one.
4. Key Messaging
Whenever you communicate, you need to understand what point you are trying to get across for it to succeed. Whenever we write a newsletter or start to draft a page of website copy, we always make a list of key messages first so we know what needs to be addressed within the text. Once you’ve written your piece, you can also go back to the list to make sure what you wanted to say is clear and obvious. This is also helpful for anyone reviewing it.
5. Focus On Community, Storytelling and Heart
If you’re not constantly asking the question “why should they care?”, you’re doing it wrong. It’s our responsibility to our community to ask ourselves why our words deserve to land in their inbox or newsfeed etc. To resonate with the right people, a clear focus on storytelling helps us reach the heart of our customers or stakeholders – and stay there. Because they’re more likely to remember us and see themselves in our ideas and values.
6. Ongoing Analysis
You undoubtedly need to know: is it working? Without analysis on what’s working (or not working), we can never improve and grow our communications. Both personally and as a business.
What would you like to refine in the next 3-6 months? Save our communications checklist below:
Our mission at My Networks is to help you stand out through the power of words. We’re here to help you provide value, engage and entertain your community, all while building something you are proud to be part of. Contact us today if you would like to collaborate on a project.