Communication Q&A banner

 

What is communication?

Generally speaking, communication is the business of sharing information.

Communication in business covers the way in which you communicate with your customers, colleagues, suppliers and the wider world.

Why should I have a communication strategy for my business?

Every day in your business you are communicating with colleagues, suppliers, customers and the wider public.

A communications strategy is designed to help you and your organisation communicate effectively and meet your objectives.

How can I develop a communication strategy?

There are a number of steps you will have to take when developing a communication strategy:

Statement of purpose

It is important to set down what you want to achieve from your strategy.

Your current position

Outline what your organisation does. What are your communication strengths and weaknesses.

Set your objectives

You need to know what it is you want to achieve. What would you consider success? More efficiency? Happier workplace? Increased revenues?

Identify your stakeholders

Think about who is important in your strategy and how they relate to each other. These might be your customers, the public, suppliers and your employees.

Consider what their needs are in relation to how your organisation communicates.

Messages

Once you have identified your audience your next step is to set your objectives down into relevant messages for each audience.

Make sure to keep them relevant and in an appropriate tone and style for each audience.

Methods

Your next step is to consider the best way to deliver your messages to your different audiences.

For example, you might communicate with colleagues in a regular email bulletin but for suppliers and business associates you may communicate to them via a monthly update of activities.

Evaluating effectiveness

You should end your strategy with a clear vision of what success looks like and how you will you evaluate success or failure.

How can business communication help me?

Communicating well in your business and within your industry helps how you are perceived and how effective your organisation operates.

Good communication can help your clients and peers take notice of you and can help your public profile grow.

It can also increase productivity in the workplace as those within your business are able to communicate quickly and effectively.

What different kinds of communication strategies are there?

Communications strategy is classified in three ways

Verbal communication

Verbal communication is divided in to written and oral. Written covers letters, emails, text messages and fax. Oral covers phone calls and face to face conversation.

Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication covers things like body language and tone of voice.

Visual communication

Visual covers areas like web pages, infographics and imagery.

What are the benefits of having a good communication strategy?

Communicating in an effective way is crucial in any organisation.

Therefore, a good communication strategy helps by fostering strong relationships with your stakeholders, including good teamwork.

It also encourages not only ideas and innovation but also the opportunity for your employees and customers to become advocates of your brand.

If they are positive about your company they will talk about it with passion.

That is a valuable asset.

What can communication do for a small business?

No matter the size of a company, good communication is crucial.

For both small and large businesses, having a clear communication strategy can help increase efficiency and ensure the smooth running of the business operations.

Should I use experts to develop my communication strategy?

Chances are that you already outsource some of your companies operations. Perhaps it is IT or accountancy services. Whilst of course you can develop and manage your communication strategy effectively and successfully in-house you may feel that it would be best to outsource your communication activities.

Usually the reasons for outsourcing boil down to the need for expertise and guidance whilst also keeping costs low.

If done right, a partnership with a great communication organisation can go far beyond lowering costs.

Finding a partner that constantly innovates in the ever changing world of media and technology is very important and will help ensure that you see a long term and ongoing return on investment, that benefits you through greater profitability and customer retention.

How does communication interact with branding?

Branding has a great impact on all aspects of communication

Primarily visual, branding communicates more than just a logo.

A brand is about perception, whether good or bad, that can make an organisation stand out from the competition.

Therefore, it plays a massive, and often times undervalued, role in developing values and helping to build reputation.

How does communication impact my social media strategy?

Social media along with marketing, PR and branding all play a part in your communication strategy.

The communication strategy therefore helps to ensure that your social media strategy is aligned to your overall company objectives.

How will we measure the success of our communication strategy?

The success of your communication strategy will depend on your goals and what you classify as success.

There are however a number of simple questions you can ask yourself that will help you to know if you are on the right track to success:

• Does your strategy help your target audience find your products, services or business?

• Do you give people the information they need to learn about your business, products or services?

• Do the people that find your business through your communication become your customers?

• Have you asked your current customers how successful your strategy was for them?

What is the difference between marketing and communication?

Marketing focuses on planning, researching and creating a strategy for the messages you want to send whereas communication focuses on creating these messages consistently to support your marketing strategy.

To help bring this to life we have included an example below:

Social Media

Within social media, marketing focuses on the ‘who’ and ‘what’ whereas communication will focus on the ‘how’.

For example, the marketing department will decide on the type of messages they want to send and the audience they want to send it to along with the outcomes they expect.

The communication team will focus on creating the content and using the tools available to make this happen.

How can communication help my business be more efficient?

The biggest problem within an inefficient business is lack of clarity.

Every day, employees and employers spend hours in unproductive meetings or replying to unnecessary emails.

Have a clear communication strategy helps overcome this as it clarifies three key areas:

Plan

A plan not only gives people a clear direction and objectives to follow but also builds their trust in the process. If there isn’t a plan or there is a lack of clarity there will be confusion over what will happen next.

Purpose

When people have a clear understanding of their purpose and why this is important they will be motivated to do a great job for you and your business.

Responsibility

If everyone knows exactly what needs to be done and who is going to do it then you will complete your task quickly and efficiently.

If there is confusion over who is doing each task it is very likely that people will go ahead and work on the same thing, resulting in at least twice as much resource being used for the same task.

How important is an internal communication strategy?

Your internal communication strategy plays an important role in helping you to achieve your company objectives.

If your employees do not buy into your vision or understand their purpose, how can you expect them to become passionate advocates for your brand and feel a desire to help you succeed.

At the heart of any successful organization is a passionate, driven and most importantly happy workforce.

Having an internal communication strategy will therefore help you and your business to succeed.

How can we help our employees to embrace our communication strategy?

The most common reason for employees not embracing a communication strategy is because nobody has told them why it is important.

Companies are great at telling people what something is, but they often fail to communicate why it is important for both the company and the employee and the difference it will make to them.

You must then continue to involve your employees in the decision making process by asking them for their opinions on what is working well and what could be improved.

Communication is an ongoing process. Every day you need to be asking questions, answering questions, taking action and communicating openly and honestly with your employees.

If you embrace this strategy your employees will feel valued and an important member of the team, which will motivate them to want to come to work and do a great job.

How much does developing a communication strategy cost?

There are a number of factors that will impact how much your communication strategy will cost, from the size and complexity of your business to your goals, ambitions and deadlines.

The key thing to remember is to take the time it needs to get it right.

If you build a house without laying the proper foundations then it will eventually come tumbling down and the same thing will happen with your business.

As an example, we charge £75 per hour for communication strategy work with a block of 10 hours available for £500.

We would suggest that you spend a minimum of 20 hours working on your communication strategy.

This does not mean you necessarily need to pay for 20 hours of work. If you have the time and experience then you can start to create the foundations of your communication strategy and then bring a company on board at a later stage.

With this being said, if you don’t have experience in creating a communication strategy then it may take just as long to restructure what you have created than it would have taken for an expert to work with you from the start.

How often should we review our communication strategy?

Communication is an ongoing process so if you want to get the most from your communication strategy you need to continually review your goals and review the outcomes of any work you complete to understand how you can develop and improve your strategy.

Don’t be afraid to make changes to your strategy if you are confident they are going to make a difference to your business.

How much time should I spend on my communication strategy?

As long as it takes.

The benefits of having a communication strategy are massive, so it is essential for you to spend the time needed to not only create a strategy that meets your goals but also to successfully implement it.

Can’t find the answer you are looking for?

Send us your question today!

Communication Q&A mobile banner 2

 

What is communication?

Generally speaking, communication is the business of sharing information.

Communication in business covers the way in which you communicate with your customers, colleagues, suppliers and the wider world.

Why should I have a communication strategy for my business?

Every day in your business you are communicating with colleagues, suppliers, customers and the wider public.

A communications strategy is designed to help you and your organisation communicate effectively and meet your objectives.

How can I develop a communication strategy?

There are a number of steps you will have to take when developing a communication strategy:

Statement of purpose

It is important to set down what you want to achieve from your strategy.

Your current position

Outline what your organisation does. What are your communication strengths and weaknesses.

Set your objectives

You need to know what it is you want to achieve. What would you consider success? More efficiency? Happier workplace? Increased revenues?

Identify your stakeholders

Think about who is important in your strategy and how they relate to each other. These might be your customers, the public, suppliers and your employees.

Consider what their needs are in relation to how your organisation communicates.

Messages

Once you have identified your audience your next step is to set your objectives down into relevant messages for each audience.

Make sure to keep them relevant and in an appropriate tone and style for each audience.

Methods

Your next step is to consider the best way to deliver your messages to your different audiences.

For example, you might communicate with colleagues in a regular email bulletin but for suppliers and business associates you may communicate to them via a monthly update of activities.

Evaluating effectiveness

You should end your strategy with a clear vision of what success looks like and how you will you evaluate success or failure.

How can business communication help me?

Communicating well in your business and within your industry helps how you are perceived and how effective your organisation operates.

Good communication can help your clients and peers take notice of you and can help your public profile grow.

It can also increase productivity in the workplace as those within your business are able to communicate quickly and effectively.

What different kinds of communication strategies are there?

Communications strategy is classified in three ways

Verbal communication

Verbal communication is divided in to written and oral. Written covers letters, emails, text messages and fax. Oral covers phone calls and face to face conversation.

Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication covers things like body language and tone of voice.

Visual communication

Visual covers areas like web pages, infographics and imagery.

What are the benefits of having a good communication strategy?

Communicating in an effective way is crucial in any organisation.

Therefore, a good communication strategy helps by fostering strong relationships with your stakeholders, including good teamwork.

It also encourages not only ideas and innovation but also the opportunity for your employees and customers to become advocates of your brand.

If they are positive about your company they will talk about it with passion.

That is a valuable asset.

What can communication do for a small business?

No matter the size of a company, good communication is crucial.

For both small and large businesses, having a clear communication strategy can help increase efficiency and ensure the smooth running of the business operations.

Should I use experts to develop my communication strategy?

Chances are that you already outsource some of your companies operations. Perhaps it is IT or accountancy services. Whilst of course you can develop and manage your communication strategy effectively and successfully in-house you may feel that it would be best to outsource your communication activities.

Usually the reasons for outsourcing boil down to the need for expertise and guidance whilst also keeping costs low.

If done right, a partnership with a great communication organisation can go far beyond lowering costs.

Finding a partner that constantly innovates in the ever changing world of media and technology is very important and will help ensure that you see a long term and ongoing return on investment, that benefits you through greater profitability and customer retention.

How does communication interact with branding?

Branding has a great impact on all aspects of communication

Primarily visual, branding communicates more than just a logo.

A brand is about perception, whether good or bad, that can make an organisation stand out from the competition.

Therefore, it plays a massive, and often times undervalued, role in developing values and helping to build reputation.

How does communication impact my social media strategy?

Social media along with marketing, PR and branding all play a part in your communication strategy.

The communication strategy therefore helps to ensure that your social media strategy is aligned to your overall company objectives.

How will we measure the success of our communication strategy?

The success of your communication strategy will depend on your goals and what you classify as success.

There are however a number of simple questions you can ask yourself that will help you to know if you are on the right track to success:

• Does your strategy help your target audience find your products, services or business?

• Do you give people the information they need to learn about your business, products or services?

• Do the people that find your business through your communication become your customers?

• Have you asked your current customers how successful your strategy was for them?

What is the difference between marketing and communication?

Marketing focuses on planning, researching and creating a strategy for the messages you want to send whereas communication focuses on creating these messages consistently to support your marketing strategy.

To help bring this to life we have included an example below:

Social Media

Within social media, marketing focuses on the ‘who’ and ‘what’ whereas communication will focus on the ‘how’.

For example, the marketing department will decide on the type of messages they want to send and the audience they want to send it to along with the outcomes they expect.

The communication team will focus on creating the content and using the tools available to make this happen.

How can communication help my business be more efficient?

The biggest problem within an inefficient business is lack of clarity.

Every day, employees and employers spend hours in unproductive meetings or replying to unnecessary emails.

Have a clear communication strategy helps overcome this as it clarifies three key areas:

Plan

A plan not only gives people a clear direction and objectives to follow but also builds their trust in the process. If there isn’t a plan or there is a lack of clarity there will be confusion over what will happen next.

Purpose

When people have a clear understanding of their purpose and why this is important they will be motivated to do a great job for you and your business.

Responsibility

If everyone knows exactly what needs to be done and who is going to do it then you will complete your task quickly and efficiently.

If there is confusion over who is doing each task it is very likely that people will go ahead and work on the same thing, resulting in at least twice as much resource being used for the same task.

How important is an internal communication strategy?

Your internal communication strategy plays an important role in helping you to achieve your company objectives.

If your employees do not buy into your vision or understand their purpose, how can you expect them to become passionate advocates for your brand and feel a desire to help you succeed.

At the heart of any successful organization is a passionate, driven and most importantly happy workforce.

Having an internal communication strategy will therefore help you and your business to succeed.

How can we help our employees to embrace our communication strategy?

The most common reason for employees not embracing a communication strategy is because nobody has told them why it is important.

Companies are great at telling people what something is, but they often fail to communicate why it is important for both the company and the employee and the difference it will make to them.

You must then continue to involve your employees in the decision making process by asking them for their opinions on what is working well and what could be improved.

Communication is an ongoing process. Every day you need to be asking questions, answering questions, taking action and communicating openly and honestly with your employees.

If you embrace this strategy your employees will feel valued and an important member of the team, which will motivate them to want to come to work and do a great job.

How much does developing a communication strategy cost?

There are a number of factors that will impact how much your communication strategy will cost, from the size and complexity of your business to your goals, ambitions and deadlines.

The key thing to remember is to take the time it needs to get it right.

If you build a house without laying the proper foundations then it will eventually come tumbling down and the same thing will happen with your business.

As an example, we charge £75 per hour for communication strategy work with a block of 10 hours available for £500.

We would suggest that you spend a minimum of 20 hours working on your communication strategy.

This does not mean you necessarily need to pay for 20 hours of work. If you have the time and experience then you can start to create the foundations of your communication strategy and then bring a company on board at a later stage.

With this being said, if you don’t have experience in creating a communication strategy then it may take just as long to restructure what you have created than it would have taken for an expert to work with you from the start.

How often should we review our communication strategy?

Communication is an ongoing process so if you want to get the most from your communication strategy you need to continually review your goals and review the outcomes of any work you complete to understand how you can develop and improve your strategy.

Don’t be afraid to make changes to your strategy if you are confident they are going to make a difference to your business.

How much time should I spend on my communication strategy?

As long as it takes.

The benefits of having a communication strategy are massive, so it is essential for you to spend the time needed to not only create a strategy that meets your goals but also to successfully implement it.

Can’t find the answer you are looking for?

Send us your question today!

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info@vertigo39.com
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