The place of strategising in corporate communication cannot be overstated and to encourage an easy approach, we highlighted the basic steps that you need to understand and show in your communication strategy document in our post, “Communication Strategy: Where to Start”; but just in case you are in doubt of the necessity of strategising your organisation’s interaction and messages at all, this post should get you thinking.
Just as a business strategy is a set of guidelines created to reach a specific business goal(s), so also is a communication strategy intended to help achieve a set of communication goals for a corporate entity. When we say an absent organisational communication strategy equals a nonexistence of a corporate strategy, we mean that unequivocally.
Not sure you have noticed, but the process of implementing a campaign; an organisation’s event; even the day-to-day running of the company is communication in action. What do we mean?
For any action to be embarked on in respect of a set of activities or campaigns, there has to be a flow of information between the organisation and her various stakeholders and collaborators who would join in bringing the planned events to life; and if no information is flowing between these parties, the identified activities or campaigns are very much like wishful thinking or daydreaming; in essence, a guide on how planned actions and their eventual implementation will be carried out is where the real work is and that is where communication takes centre stage.
As we have previously said, because a lot of us talk so much about communication and how it has been reduced in some quarters to simply being sharing of information, there is the temptation to only give verbal instructions when there is need to communicate – but this is hardly strategising because in such a case, there is the tendency to mix up instructions intended for different stakeholders.
What makes your communication strategic is when the pain is taken to consider different elements (manpower, resources, welfare, etc in the case of your internal stakeholders and demographics, psychographics etc. in the case of your external stakeholders) that can either make or mare your efforts, activities, reputation, campaign and so on. Also a proper documentation (showing the kinds of messages, the channels to be used) of this painstaking thinking, makes it a strategic plan.
The benefits of this activity are;
- Increased internal efficiency, especially in terms of time wastage as teams do not have to start a messaging plan afresh when embarking on a campaign.
- Improved corporate trustworthiness and credibility among stakeholders when there is consistency in communication materials and flow of information.
- Enhanced strategic positioning through an ongoing revision of the corporate strategy and its alignment with changing stakeholder expectations.