Nowadays, we are bombarded with messages every hour of every day. So how do we make ours stand out so that we can make an impact on our employees, and ultimately the business?
I’d like to say that there is a simple answer or a miracle cure, but unfortunately I’d be lying!
Communicating effectively takes hard work, collaboration and a dash of creativity. However, I do have one word which will help you as you develop your next communications campaign:
Impact is a six step communications model which I have developed, it was designed to help myself and others understand and action the key steps of effective and impactful communication campaigns.
I = Investigation
Investigation is about taking the time to uncover and review all of the facts before developing your communications campaign strategy and plan. It is also about using these facts to develop not only your plan but your objectives. By creating objectives from the outset, you will ensure that you have clear and meaningful goals by which to develop and measure your communications.
M = Medium
Medium is about determining which medium(s) are appropriate in order to deliver the most effective communications campaign, whether that be print, live or digital. It is critical to select those which best fit your company’s objectives, culture, demographics and timelines, getting the right mix for your organisation.
P = Planning
Planning is about creating a comprehensive, coordinated and collaborative approach to planning and running your communications campaign. Being clear about what needs to be done by whom and by when, thus ensuring that all timelines and objectives are met.
A = Allies
Allies is about bringing together and working with the right colleagues so that your campaign is run smoothly and effectively. It’s about understanding who are the ‘right’ allies to best deliver on your objectives, and working with them in an effective and efficient manner.
C = Content
Content is about creating messages and graphics which ‘stick’, meaning they will encourage your employees to take the time to read, think and behave differently. The is done by creating content which is valuable, relevant and consistent, and it is also about understanding if or when you need to segment the content to appeal to a variety of audiences.
T = Testing
Testing is about collecting data which can demonstrate the effectiveness of your communications campaign, and thus the ROI (return on investment) to your business. It is also about using the data throughout the campaign to adjust or update to drive effectiveness.
Make an impact
This model and this approach will work if you do the work required for each and every step.
One thing to point out which differentiates this particular model from others is that it is not sequential – you don’t start one step and then move onto the next, something I believe to cause problems in a communications campaign. You need to have a fluid and flexible approach, working through each step in a joined up and cohesive approach.
Think of yourself as a chef in a competition, being asked to prepare a five course meal in order to win the big prize. Have you ever seen how they work on the various courses simultaneously, making sure that they are all served at the right time? By following this approach of juggling all steps, going back to each ‘course’ (step) over and over again to make sure it is just right, you ensure that your ‘meal’ or your communications campaign is something which your audience will love and will want to come back to for ‘seconds’ (to action). By remembering each ‘ingredient’ (each step) and preparing them in a coordinated way you will end up with a fabulous meal (communications campaign). Bon appetit!