How successful the communication process

If you orient yourself towards the famous communication scientist Paul Watzlawick, you cannot not communicate, as is well known. The key question for companies, however, is: How does communication bring about the desired success?

What is important in corporate communication and how you can create a successful Communication strategy develop, you will learn in this guide.

What is a Communication strategy?

The Communication strategy includes all conceptual considerations and measures that are necessary to achieve corporate communication goals. It regulates corporate communication at a higher level and defines with whom a company enters into dialogue, when, how and why.

The communication strategy as an example and basis for good marketing

Your communication is the basis of your marketing. Because the contact with your target group and the conveyance of your messages are the prerequisites for your company to position itself in the market in the long term, to build trust and generate sales. This applies to start-ups as well as to established brands. Of course, marketing is not just about communication. But without strategic communication efficient marketing is difficult.

Develop a communication concept - what for?

The big challenge is to align your corporate communication in such a way that it meets the current demands of society on the one hand and strengthens the identity of your company on the other.

A well-founded concept serves as a valuable guide. With a carefully crafted Communication strategy keep your goals in mind and know what steps to take to stay on track with your communications. But the question of all questions is: How do I go about it?

Develop a communication strategy: It works with this template

There is no silver bullet for the perfect one Communication strategy, because every company is unique and has different requirements and goals. Nevertheless, a communication concept is basically always structured according to the same scheme and consists of analysis, strategy and action parts.

When developing the Communication strategy it has therefore proven its worth according to the following 9 step plan proceed:

How do I develop a Communication strategy?

  1. Analyze the current situation
  2. Define the target state
  3. Check communication goals
  4. Raise target groups
  5. Create clear core messages and content
  6. Develop cross-media communication strategy
  7. Plan measures
  8. Define KPIs and set a budget
  9. Control successes

1) Analyze the current situation

Before you start with your Communication strategy To get started, you first have to know where you are:

  • How does your company currently appear to the outside world?

  • Who do you direct your communication to?

  • How do internal communication processes work?

  • What is your company's position in the market?

It is best to reflect on the status quo with the help of a SWOT analysis, in which you compare strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Your company's numbers, data and facts are just as important as market and target group developments.

But be careful: A meaningful result assumes that you are honest with yourself in your analysis and do not present your company better than it actually is!

2) Define the target state

After the as-is analysis, you should be able to identify potentials and the need for optimization and to use them accordingly Conclusions to pull. These findings form the basis for determining the desired target state:

  • How should your company be perceived?

  • What tasks can your corporate communications take on for this?

  • What should change through the communication strategy?

3) Define communication goals

Now it is about the desired target state through concrete goals to structure. In the best case scenario, you start with a maximum of three higher-level communication goals and split the way there into stages, to which you assign sub-goals - sorted according to priorities or chronologically.

You should definitely look for the SMART formula proceed and formulate your goals according to the following parameters:

  • specific

  • measurable

  • attractive or coordinated

  • realistic and

  • terminated

4) Raise target groups

In order to achieve your goals, of course, you also need someone to whom you direct your communication: your target groups. And that doesn't just mean potential ones Customers meant, but also Employee, Business partner, Opinion leaders, Media representatives and others Stakeholders Of your company.

The more precisely you are clear about who you want to enter into a dialogue with and, above all, why, the better you can align your communication strategy accordingly.

By the way, the modern approach to target group segmentation leads over Personas, that is, fictional ideal images of the addressees you want to reach with your communication. Personas represent your target group not only on the basis of demographic or geographical characteristics, but also in particular through needs, values ​​and personal characteristics.

5) Create clear core messages and content

Now that you know who you want to communicate with, let's get down to business: messages and content form the heart of your communication. Because what you say is critical to achieving your goals. So your key messages should be well considered be that Unique selling points Underline your company and formulated in an understandable way become.

Because each of your target groups different demands, interests and needs you should provide them with exactly what is relevant to them:

While potential customers are interested, for example, in the advantages they have from your products or services, information about professional development or their involvement in business processes is more important for employees.

Still, you should make sure that all content coordinated are and one uniform appearance Of your company.

6) Develop cross-media communication strategy

More and more diverse communication channels make one in this day and age targeted mix of different media more necessary than ever. Website, social networks, classic advertising via print, TV or radio, mailings, public relations and much more - your communication will only be successful in the long term if you reach your target group at as many contact points as possible.

The be-all and end-all here is that you come up with an overarching guiding principle according to which you base your strategy. That includes the tonality Of your communication as well as that Frequency and weighting the set activities as well as the Distribution of priorities within the various target groups.

7) Plan measures and define KPIs

Only at this point do yours come Communication measures into play - they are the logical consequence of what you have worked out in your concept so far. Derived from goals, target groups and strategy, you can now plan concretely, which actions you will take when, where and to what extent, so that your corporate communication is optimally set up.

When doing this, you should also remember that your actions transparent and measurable are. After all, in the end you want to be able to understand whether you are getting closer to your goal. It is therefore advisable to define KPIs in order to be able to evaluate the results of your measures, such as the interactions with your social media posts.

8) Set a budget

Of course, you will have a budget for your business in the first place Communication strategy have set. However, since you have now planned your measures, you can reduce the human and financial outlay assess more realistically and can meet the specific budget requirements calculate more precisely.

9) control successes

A Communication strategy is never set in stone. On the contrary - successful communication depends on experience, optimization and adaptation.

With regular checks, you always have an overview of which measures are working well and where they may still be Adjustments should make. Thanks to clearly defined goals and KPIs, evaluating your communication strategy shouldn't cause you any difficulties.

Header image: Patrick Tomasso / Unsplash

Originally published April 14, 2020, updated April 14, 2020

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