As opposed to internal communications, external communications are used to transmit information from your company to your audience. Sounds easy, right? Merely communicating your message to a broad audience without any strategy, however, will likely result in failure.
Brands need effective communication to survive. For communication to be effective, a strategy with outlined objectives needs to be established. The foundation of every communication strategy starts with a company’s mission statement.
A company needs a mission statement to define its values and remain focused — in every single action, interaction and communication it takes — in reaching its goals. The mission statement should be the foundation of both external and internal communications initiatives. If your company doesn’t already have a mission statement, craft one now. Think about what your company was built to do. What do you want your company to become? What is important to your brand? Keep your mission statement short, but use it as a compass throughout all your communications strategies.
After your mission statement, focus on developing an external communications strategy. This should include a range of tactics that help the message reach your desired audience. Your audience will include existing customers, current and future leads, investors and shareholders, and the press (among others). Guided by the three key elements below, you’ll be able to create a successful, effective external communications strategy:
- What does your audience want and need? Understand your audience(s), and tailor your message to resonate with each of them individually. Sure, this might mean crafting different messages for different customers and stakeholders — but the time investment will prove effective. Understand what matters to your audience and provide them value.
- What message do you want your audience to hear? Effective external communications is not blasting your name everywhere with fluffy content. Stronger results will stem from a well-thought-out plan that provides substance, value and positive brand recognition. Always deliver quality communications with a genuine tone.
- How will you reach your audience? Only once you know your audience will you understand how to communicate with them. The most popular external-communications tactics include website updates and quality content (such as blogs and webinars), social media, newsletters and public relations, including press releases and case studies.
An effective communications strategy doesn’t need to be complicated. It should be driven by brand storytelling and (remember) your mission statement at the heart of everything you do. It should evolve with the times, too. Technologies change, and so should your communications.
If you’re looking for additional help in developing an external-communications strategy, rAVe [STORYTELLING] has proven success with effective brand communication.