Communicating without purpose is like shouting, texting and tweeting into a void. When you define the purpose behind your communications strategy – who you’re trying to reach and how – you’ll ensure the audience you want to reach receives your message clearly.
But how do you find your purpose? It starts with taking a step back and performing an audit of the communications platforms that you use – whether that’s social media, email newsletters, flyers and more. This process will reveal how well you’re currently engaging your audience and showcase the areas where you may be falling behind. Often we get stuck looking through a magnifying glass and focusing too much on one platform at a time. A communications audit can help you zoom out. Now’s the time to get the full picture.
Step 1: Create a space to hold your audit.
A Google or Excel spreadsheet is a great way to organize your information. Create columns in this spreadsheet to categorize the positives (what’s working), opportunities for improvement (what can change), suggested actions (how you’ll change it), content, and audience information. Some additional metrics you can include in your audit are engagement rates, branding consistencies, open rates, the timing of posts/emails and top-performing posts.
Step 2: Dive into your audit with these categories in mind.
This is your chance to take an objective look at your platforms. Take note of your post-performance, summarize your own observations or spotlight a successful or not successful post.
Some questions to consider include: Are visuals consistent with your organization’s brand guide? What is/isn’t resonating with your audience? Who is engaging with your content? Are all social platforms performing well?
Step 3: Use the information to decide how to move forward.
Use the audit to analyze what is and isn’t connecting with your audience. Are you using the right platforms to reach your audience? Are there any gaps? Don’t be afraid to stop posting on one platform if there’s little to no engagement. It’s more valuable to focus your attention on platforms that are performing well as the channel to provide quality content for your audience.
It’s important to understand that communications may not resonate with your audience on every platform – and that’s okay. This audit is the first step to analyzing if changes should be made. We strongly encourage you to use this audit to guide all internal and external communication.
Let’s see how we can work together to effectively communicate with your audiences.
Written by Hallie Kim, Associate at Barefoot PR