As the UK slowly emerges from the third Covid-19 lockdown, there has never been a more crucial time for businesses to make sure their PR and communications are up to scratch. With the recovery phase, which we hope is on the horizon now the vaccination programme is in full flow, comes a need to strengthen connections and communication with all the stakeholders who matter to a business’s future success.
There’s no doubt it’s been an emotional and disruptive 12 months or so, with almost everyone having to adapt to new ways of working, reducing business operations or even putting everything on hold. For many, the landscape will look rather different from how it was back in 2019.
However, it can’t be stressed enough that good communication – and how a business engages with those people and organisations who can help them grow – should be a top priority.
At FCM we know that putting time and thought into building profile and reputation will certainly help to set a business up for success. So to provide a helping hand on the road to recovery, we’ve created a free step-by-step downloadable guide to help plan successful communications.
Our free downloadable guide explains:
WHY are you communicating?
Laying down SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) objective/s and aligning these to business goal/s is essential. Really think about the ‘reason why’ and aim to have up to three objectives for the communication e.g. an uplift in sales for a specific product or a certain level of media coverage. Being really clear about ‘why’ is an essential part of evaluating how successful the communication has been too (see Step 6).
WHO matters to your business?
Think about who matters and list groups, organisations and people important to the business. Customers and employees should always be on the list, but think about other audiences who could have influence including local government, media, industry bodies and suppliers. Think about what you want them to ‘think, feel and do’ as a result of the communication.
WHAT are you going to say?
We suggest writing down up to five key messages that are really vital about your story. Having strong, clear messages running through all communication materials will really help the story or campaign to have consistency across all channels. Also think about any photography, graphics or film too.
HOW will you reach your stakeholders?
There are many channels to deliver a communication from holding a conference or briefing if it’s something to be heard face-to-face, to a newsletter targeting customers or issuing a press release to amplify your story in target media. Write down the best channel for reaching each stakeholder and create relevant content and materials to support.
WHEN will it happen?
It sounds obvious, but timing is really key when it comes to communications. It’s really important to get the sequence right so all the target audiences hear about a piece of news at the right time, in the right way. Also take a look at the world around you and make sure that there isn’t anything that will clash or dilute the impact of your story or campaign.
MEASURE how successful was your communication?
It’s important to know if the communication was a success to realise the value of a campaign or initiative. Simply use the SMART objectives created in Step 1 to measure if they have been successful and list any methods you will use to evaluate.
I really hope this will go some way to help businesses communicate the best they can as they come out of recovery. Here’s to everyone having a successful and safe spring and summer!Karen McElroy – Managing Director
At FCM PR & Communications, we’ve been providing PR and communications to regional, national and international businesses based in the Midlands for more than 15 years. If you’d like to have a chat to see how we can help your business deliver more effective PR and communications, please get in touch for a no obligation chat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07789 004708.