Communication guidance – the process

The way it works varies from organisation to organisation. Some need little more than a few suggestions on how to improve the consistency or tone of their communication. Others might need to go right back to basics and fundamentally reassess what they say, to whom they say it, and how.

Wherever you fit on that spectrum, there are some common steps that will benefit any organisation.

I’ll start with a communication audit – assessing the way you communicate with your stakeholders: customers or members, investors, staff, media, key influencers etc. I’ll look at internal and external communication, formal and informal, across all channels. I’ll be looking for overall quality of messages, consistency of content and tone, degree of clarity, credibility and authenticity, and at how you get your messages across. At this stage, with your permission, I’ll speak to the people you communicate with and gather their views too.

The next step is a review session with you, to present my findings, get your initial input and discuss focus areas.

Then I’ll prepare a recommendations report based on our review session. The report will include:

  • Summary of audit – what was assessed, the current picture, initial observations.
  • Summary of comms review session – what was discussed, the conclusions we reached.
  • Recommendations – focusing in particular on content and channels.

You may decide you want to leave it there and take on board the comments and suggestions I’ve made and act on them yourself. Alternatively, I can help to implement the recommendations agreed with you.

I can work with you in two ways: directly implementing improvements or helping you to resolve your own issues through training and instruction.

  • Direct assistance might include helping you to develop a communication strategy, or writing copy for you, helping to improve your channels, subcontracting web design work etc.
  • Training and instruction might include editorial workshops to help you improve your own content, or referral to e-training specialists etc.