It’s time to think about strategic communications that delivers results. Stop fixating on tactics
Every company, not-for-profit, NGO or association is different. Global environments are different. Yet, the disciplines of strategic communications planning to achieve competitive distinction and purposeful results are similar for any organization:
- Define objectives. No more than three objectives to achieve focus and clarity.
- Develop strategies. One strategy to address each respective objective.
- Appropriate tactics will naturally be revealed and fall into place.
Strategic communications planning – whether for the future of an organization or for a communications program – should not be a difficult or time-consuming process. Most of the time, however, it’s bypassed or ignored as panic driven organizations rush to embrace the latest trend or craze that everyone else is doing.
A not-for-profit, for example, may list “Strengthen our financial position” as its top objective. That’s not an objective but rather a wish. A real objective might be stated, “Create programs of greater value to attract new funders.”
Strategic communications must be a valued asset.
Top leaders and management of an organization care about meaningful results that show favorably on their top or bottom lines as well as marketplace reputation. Results come from strategic plans, and therein is a disconnect with the field of communications or PR.
Communications people and PR agencies are often fools to the latest tactic fad, seemingly oblivious whether it might create the meaningful results their top bosses expect. If all you have is the latest shiny digital hammer, “everything looks like a nail” is commonly a PR agency approach.
Stop fixating on tactics!
The current focus on hiring people to handle Twitter or a Facebook page is tactic stuff and meaningless without a strategy. Hiring a search engine optimization (SEO) charlatan is wasteful. New SEO technology is automated.
Using one of those costly press release distribution services is not only a tactic but counterproductive in today’s digital media environment. Too much is at stake in a global environment.
Issues advocacy, image and reputation management or crisis communications are all managed and guided in today’s digital revolution with executive level strategic communications planning … and executed with compelling words, appealing news-style images and video, and captivating journalistic storytelling.
It’s time for the practice of strategic communications to become more intellectually driven. Think. Learn. Analyze. Be curious. Explore. PLAN. That is what we do best.