“The great enemy of communication, we find, is the illusion of it.”
William H. Whyte.
It is surprising how we take things for granted. Breathing, eating, even life itself. That’s also true for our conversations. Maybe we don’t have to worry that much for our daily chats, but it’s different when talking about a brand. There, a communication strategy would be helpful.
There are two elements present in everything we do, including communication. And yet we tend to reject them. These elements are risk and uncertainty. Because of this rejection, we are used to assuming communication is always happening, that nothing changes. Yet, the only thing that always stays the same is the change, as Heraclitus said.
How can we tackle risks and uncertainty within the communication process? At least, there are two approaches to this issue:
- The traditional one, that only sees the surface of the communication process.
- And another one that explores its deepness.
Both can be part of a communication strategy. But, as we will see, there is a huge difference between paying attention to the why of a business and ignoring it. One reduces the risks and uncertainty associated with failing our communications. In contrast, the other one only increases them.
We’re past the days when communications were a one-way street. These days, thanks to the internet, it’s a two-way street. When you aim for deep communications, a real interaction happens between customers and employees with the brand.
As a consequence, you build engagement and trust. Both are required for relationship growth which, in turn, equals business growth. As you can see, putting efforts into discovering the why of your business is key. It gives you a chance to build loyalty among clients, increase engagement, and differentiate your business.
In any case, exploring them will help us understand why a communications strategy firm is useful for a business’s success.
Elements of a communications strategy: insights from the surface
As it happens with any strategic plan, we want to answer the following:
From a relative point of view, the first 5 elements are easy to address. Yet, the last one requires a bit more effort and attention. For the time being, let’s take care of those 5 elements, and then move on to the why.
What: The purpose of your business
Explaining something with ease requires a great understanding of a topic. Just like that, communicating your business’s purpose demands a deep comprehension. What are you aiming for with your business? It can come in the form of soap that makes women feel beautiful or biodegradable bags aiming for a sustainable way of living, and so on.
Who: The target audience
Part of the process of creating a communication strategy involves having a clear picture of the audience. Even though it is hard to craft a message for every individual, we can group our audience. That can be done based on their psychographics and their relationship with our business. Once that’s done, we can customize our message.
How: The means to reach your goal
Having a clear understanding of the way you plan to bring your business purpose to reality is key. That information will contribute to shaping the communications strategy as it gives a chance to build a bridge. One that connects the purpose with your audience.
Where: The marketing channels to be used
Based on the message we want to share, we should consider the channels our targeted audience is using. Every marketing channel has its traits that make them more suitable for certain communications.
For example, sharing stunning images might go better on Instagram. In contrast, a corporate message would fit well on LinkedIn. But, again, the key here is where your audience is.
When: The timing for delivering a message
Just like with the marketing channels, you also want to know when they are prone to engage with your message. When considering the internal communications strategy, exploring the best time to make announcements will pay off.
Elements of a communications strategy: insights from the depth
Most communications strategies stay on the surface. They put almost all their effort into the product, on how to position it on markets. Despite being aware of its relevance, the why of a business gets overlooked most of the time.
Is there another way? Of course, one that starts the communication strategy by answering the why of a company, and uses that as its foundation. To find it out, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do your clients buy from you instead of going somewhere else?
- Why do your employees come to work with you every day?
- Why is your business chosen among several options?
There is something unique about you and your business you want to discover to spread the word about it.
Now, you can think about this element as the glue that sticks to everything. Indeed, that is the value-added of the company, the very same value that both employees and customers seek in an organization. That’s what makes communications flow.
We all need to make sense of what we do, who we engage with, how we do it, where and when we carry out anything. Why is of the essence!
Why: The core of your business
As Virginia explains, the missing link is the meaning link. The whole communications strategy is pointless without a clear notion of your core business. This is the heart, the essence of what you and your team do within the company. That’s the only way we can ensure we are communicating the brand’s message effectively.
Why do we label it as “insights from the depth”? There are two reasons:
- It requires extra attention to understand the essence. What’s the essential value we are offering to the market?
- Introspection is key to assessing this essence that builds up into a shared vision. This vision comes from within the business culture. And it’s only after that there is a chance to communicate the brand’s values and principles. Virginia calls it Transformative Power.
Indeed, in a regular session with her, the conversation flows until she asks what’s the value you are offering to your clients? It comes with no surprise as understanding why people buy from you is challenging.
That’s the reason behind the usefulness of a communications strategy firm. It will help you understand the core of your business. Virginia, for example, asks key questions, so you can connect with the strategist within you. As a result, you will be able to see your business from a wider perspective.
Also, you will have the tools to transform your business and connect your business’s why with your audience. In the example of the soap, the meaning might be empowering women by making them feel beautiful and cared for.
The soap (or anything that represents your brand) is a bridge. It’s the connection point between the core of your business (values and principles) and what they want. That is, the meaning they seek, the chance to belong to something bigger.
Imagine how strong your communications will be. “Sharing the essence of your business, from the inside-out” will make the difference. Does it sound good? Get in touch to find guidance on how you can improve your business communications.
Edited by Ludwig Laborda