When you need to communicate internally with your employees about something important, a common mistake businesses make is not having a plan.
Without a plan, you can’t work through all the issues and opportunities that may present themselves as part of the communications process.
Think of your communications strategy as being a roadmap that helps you determine the path to communicating: where are you now and where would you like to be? The journey you take between those two points will make up your communications plan. This should help you determine how you will get there, how long it will take, and why this approach is the best one.
Your communications strategy should be written in a way that most people can understand.
When it comes to devising an internal communications strategy, these are the components you will need to include:
Title: It might seem obvious, but you should always include a title that clearly explains what the strategy is about. In the event you have multiple strategies, this will prevent confusion.
Executive Summary: This is a succinct overview of your overall strategy and explains what you are hoping to communicate, how you will communicate it and a timeline.
Issue/Purpose: What is the business objective that this communications strategy aligns to? If you are managing a contentious issue, you will need to provide a background.
Budget: How much do you have to spend on this campaign, if anything?
SWOT analysis: With any communications strategy, it’s always a good idea to include a SWOT analysis where you identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the objective or issue that you are wanting to communicate. The findings of your SWOT analysis can be used to guide your strategy.
Key messages: Before you go creating any content, you’ll need to plan exactly what it is you want to say. Formulate a set of key messages that you reiterate and include throughout your campaign.
Audiences: Depending on what you want to communicate you might have one audience of your entire workforce, or you might have several audiences for different messages. For example, you may need to tell your internal sales team one thing, but your client-facing team something else. Determine who you need to communicate with and what you need to tell them in advance.
Delivery Channels: There are numerous ways you can deliver information internally to your staff. You may have a senior manager deliver a presentation, create video content, use email, newsletters, DeskAlerts, intranet, screensavers, digital displays and more. Sometimes campaigns may include just one channel, or a variety of channels, depending on what is being delivered.
Timeline: A timeline in your internal communications strategy should clearly set out the timing of the delivery of various aspects of your campaign.
Measurement: By ensuring you build in a mechanism to measure the success of your campaign, you can determine whether it has been effective or not.
Approval processes: Who needs to sign-off on your campaign?